Category Archives: Pilgrimage

Trip Report: Pilgrimage to Iona

By Hut2Hut Pilgrimage Editor Amanda Wagstaff

Iona-Abbey-View

View of the abbey complex on Iona © Amanda Wagstaff 2016

I arrived in Glasgow and immediately realized that I was overdressed. It was only the first of June, but a spell of cloudless summer weather had overtaken the west of Scotland. As I walked across town with my backpack, I could feel sweat dripping down my face and the beginnings of sunburn on my neck. I was a mess by the time I reached Queen Street Station.

Continue reading

Virtual Pilgrimage on the Saint’s Road, Co. Kerry

Kilmalkedar church, Dingle Peninsula, Co. Kerry, Ireland - one of the sites along The Saint's Road © Deborah Wagstaff 2016

Kilmalkedar church, Dingle Peninsula, Co. Kerry, Ireland – one of the sites along The Saint’s Road © Deborah Wagstaff 2016

One of my favorite resources for information on Irish pilgrimages is Louise Nugent’s “Pilgrimage in Medieval Ireland.” Nugent is an archaeologist who specializes in medieval Irish history and culture, and she uses her blog to document her trips to pilgrim sites.

Continue reading

Pilgrim Path to the Holy Isle of Lindisfarne

by Amanda Wagstaff, Hut2Hut Pilgrimage Editor

The Pilgrim's Path to Holy Isle © Amanda Wagstaff 2016

The Pilgrim’s Path to Holy Isle © Amanda Wagstaff 2016

My pilgrimage to the Holy Island of Lindisfarne began on a RyanAir flight from Dublin to Edinburgh. I was seated next to a woman and her toddler, Molly. Molly was a very active little girl – standing in mummy’s lap, singing, and doing choreographed dances… Mum was very patient and calm with her daughter’s antics and was prepared with lots of potential distractions to keep the little girl from getting restless. One of these was a bag of small plastic figurines. While I sat reading Robin Davidson’s “Tracks,” Molly pulled toys out to the bag one by one, and told her mum their names.

Continue reading

Sharing the Path of Abraham

Sharing the Path of Abraham 

Can retracing the path of one of the world’s most revered prophets help sow the seeds of peace and economic prosperity for communities in the Middle East? This is the question that Harvard professor William Ury sought to answer when, in 2004, he established the Abraham Path Initiative. Abraham was the exemplar of hospitality and preached kindness to strangers. The story of Abraham, or Ibrahim, is one of the most well known and revered by followers of Islam, Christianity, and Judaism. Indeed, it is through Abraham that these followers trace their ancestry and from the stories of his travels through the Middle East that many continue to find inspiration today. For Ury, these stories provided a particular kind of inspiration that saw the potential for finding common ground, and common ancestry, in the face of conflicts that have sought to tear the region apart. Thus was born the Abraham Path.

Continue reading

Tóchar Phádraig: Pilgrim Path in Co. Mayo, Ireland

by Amanda Wagstaff, Hut2Hut Pilgrimage Editor

The holy mountain Croagh Patrick

The Tóchar Phádraig path to the holy mountain Croagh Patrick © Amanda Wagstaff 2016

I left Dublin early in the morning for Castlebar. I was going to walk the Tóchar Phádraig, or St. Patrick’s Causeway, the pilgrim walk from Ballintubber Abbey to the holy mountain of Croagh Patrick. The bus ride through the midlands of Ireland was beautiful, cloudy with instances of sun, rain, and hail. (Yea, all of those.)

Continue reading

Gifts from Glendalough by Amanda Wagstaff

I left early in the morning for Glendalough to join a group of pilgrims on St. Kevin’s Way. Glendalough,”glen of two lakes,” is the site of a medieval monastic city in County Wicklow, south of Dublin. It was founded in the 6th century by the ascetic monk Kevin and has been a destination for pilgrims ever since. St. Kevin’s Way is the pilgrim path the leads from the small village of Hollywood, through the Wicklow Gap, to the doorstep of St. Kevin’s monastery. I was very excited to do my first pilgrimage in Ireland and impressed to see the parking lot full of cars and walkers, despite the rainy weather. And then someone broke the news to me: the pilgrimage was cancelled. The local mountain rescue team had advised the organizers against doing the pilgrimage because several sections of the path had been replaced by small but rushing rivers.

I was so disappointed.

Continue reading

Revival of Irish Pilgrimage Paths

by Amanda Wagstaff, Hut2Hut Pilgrimage Editor

View of the holy mountain Croagh Patrick, ancient pilgrimage site, Co. Mayo, Ireland, © Amanda Wagstaff, 2010

View of the holy mountain Croagh Patrick, ancient pilgrimage site, Co. Mayo, Ireland, © Amanda Wagstaff, 2010

March 22th-29th, 2016 is Pilgrim Paths Week in Ireland. This national event, which takes place simultaneously at various pilgrimage sites, first started on Easter Saturday 2014 in an effort to revive interest in Ireland’s ancient pilgrim paths. It’s been growing ever since. Not only do many Irish citizens walk these paths, but many foreign visitors, including myself, have been attracted to these ancient pathways, many of which date from prehistory.

Continue reading