I am delighted to announce that my new book, Journeys of Faith. Stories of Pilgrimage from Medieval Ireland, published by Columba Books, is now available to per-order through the Columba Books website with free shipping.
Just to give you a taste of what the book is like. The layout follows the stages of pilgrimage from departure, arrival at the pilgrim shrine and the return home.
Chapter 1 explores what type of pilgrim sites existed in early and late medieval Ireland.
Chapter 2 highlights the known pilgrim destinations outside of Ireland visited by Irish pilgrims such as Canterbury and Rome.
Chapter 3 explores the many and varied reasons and motivations that prompted Irish people to make pilgrimage such as penance – indulgences- the quest for healing.
Chapter 4 looks at the spiritual and practical preparations made by pilgrims in advance of undertaking their pilgrimage.
Chapter 5 discusses the evidence for travel in medieval Ireland, focusing on the well known pilgrim road – Tóchar Phádraig, along with the journeys of individual Irish pilgrims.
Chapter 6- explore the evidence for travel outside of Ireland to exotic places like Rome and Jerusalem and tells the story of the pilgrimage of Irish Franciscan friar Simon FitzSimon who traveled to Jerusalem in the 14th-century.
Chapter 7 & 8 focus on the pilgrims arrival at their destination and teases out they interacted with relics, the graves of saints and holy statues as well as other pilgrims.
Chapter 9 the final chapter looks at the pilgrims return journey along with, the archaeological evidence for pilgrimage such as pilgrim souvenirs and pilgrim burials.
Throughout the book I highlight many interesting stories of Irish pilgrims who made journeys big and small across this island and overseas. Some of my favorite stories include the pilgrims who traveled to St Mullins, Co Carlow in 1348, in search of a miraculous cure for the Black Death. Or the pilgrimage of Heneas Mac Nichaill who made pilgrimage to atone for the murder of his son by visiting nineteen pilgrim sites around scattered across the island of Ireland in 1543.
I think one of the best things about researching this book was visiting so many amazing Irish pilgrim sites. Those of you who follow this blog already know I love to use photos in my posts and I am delighted to say the book is full of photos of many of these special places.
For any one interested in purchasing Journeys of Faith follow the link to Columba Book order page