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Lough Derg – a drama in three acts

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Second Reading
Fr Kevin Hegarty

St Patrick’s Basilica on Lough Derg is adorned by the stained glass windows of Harry Clarke. Admirers of the artist who wish to view the windows during the summer can only do so if they are prepared to undertake the three-day Lough Derg pilgrimage. From, June 1 to August 15 every year, the island is confined to the several thousand pilgrims who continue a tradition stretching back to the early centuries of Irish Christianity.
Lough Derg has been aptly named ‘St Patrick’s Purgatory’. Bishop Joseph Duffy, the retired Bishop of Clogher, describes the pilgrimage as ‘a drama in three acts’. The first act is a fast from food for three days, apart from one daily meal of black tea or coffee and dry bread. It is an act of solidarity with those who suffer famine in the world. The second act is a lengthy session of oral prayers recited while walking barefoot on........

© The Mayo News