My new book Journeys of Faith. Stories of Pilgrimage in Medieval Ireland has just been published by Columba Books. It is available to pre order now from the Columba Books website.
Pilgrimage has long held a special place in the hearts of Irish people. In medieval times it was one of the most popular forms of personal devotion, and was practiced by men, women and children from all social classes. Journeys of Faith combines historical sources and archaeological evidence to explore the stories of Irish pilgrims who embarked on these remarkable pilgrimages stretching from Ireland to Jerusalem between the seventh century and the reformation.
Medieval Irish pilgrims left their homes and families for many reasons. For the countless men and women who made the trip to St Mullins in Carlow in 1348, a miraculous cure for the Black Death was foremost in their minds. Heneas
Mac Nichaill was atoning for the murder of his son when he visited nineteen pilgrim sites around Ireland in 1543. Others were motivated by a quest for salvation, like those who entered St Patrick’s Purgatory at Lough Derg, hoping
their experiences in the holy cave would wipe clean all their sins.
Just as the aims of pilgrims differed, so too did their destinations, ranging from holy wells and the graves or statues of revered saints, to specific cathedrals or churches. No matter their goals or destinations, each pilgrim had to navigate the unique practicalities and dangers associated with travel along medieval pilgrim roads.
In this beautifully illustrated book, the reader can follow these Irish pilgrims, along the way gaining fresh understanding of the motivations and experiences that shaped their journeys of faith.
In 2015 I co-wrote a book with Dr Richard Scriven about the pilgrim sites of Cork City.
The book is called Graves, Wells & Statues: Exploring the heritage and culture of pilgrimage in medieval and modern Cork.For details on where to purchase this book on line go to our website Cork City Pilgrimage. The book is on sale in Cork City at Liam Russels bookshop and Waterstones Cork. For those of you who arent in Cork, it is available as a paperback and ebook from Amazon uk and Amazon.com.
A book launch for this book will take place at 7pm St Fin Barre’s Cathedral Cork City on Wednesday November 25th. All welcome.