independent

Sunday 24 September 2017

Centuries old tradition continues at Ladywell Shrine

Bright sunshine and a wonderful attendance at Ladywell 2016. Photo: Ken Finegan
Bright sunshine and a wonderful attendance at Ladywell 2016. Photo: Ken Finegan

The tradition of attending Ladywell Shrine, where the waters of the holy well are said to rise on the eve of the Feast of The Assumption, will be continued this year, when the rosary will be recited at 11.15pm on Monday, August 14, followed by the celebration of Mass by Fr Mark O'Hagan, Adm, St Patrick's at 11.30pm.

The hard working committee have been busy preparing the site off the Dublin Road in advance of the feast day on August 15 which sees hundreds visit the well, continuing a centuries old tradition.

Ladywell is one of the best known holy wells in the north east and attracts pilgrims from all over Louth and surrounding counties, particularly Monaghan, Meath, Cavan, Down and Armagh.

The structure over the well is included in Thomas Wright's famous Louthiana, published in 1748, and his drawing of it is arguably the earliest detailed visual record of an Irish holy well. It indicates that the well-chamber is at least 250 years old and is probably medieval in vintage.

The Inniskeen poet Patrick Kavanagh wrote about how people made the journey on foot from Monaghan and Cavan (some placing a pebble in their shoe to add to the difficulty of the pilgrimage) in 'The Green Fool' which was published in 1938.

In those days The Fifteenth was regarded as the farmers' holidays and many would make the pilgrimage to Ladywell before continuing on to Blackrock.

The Argus

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