The annual Reek Sunday pilgrimage takes place on the last Sunday in July on Ireland’s holy mountain Croagh Patrick in the Archdiocese of Tuam. This pilgrimage has been carried out uninterrupted for over 1500 years. Croagh Patrick has over 100,000 visitors annually with up to 20,000 making the pilgrimage on Reek Sunday weekend each year. This year’s pilgrimage will take place on Sunday 26 July. Parishioners from all over Ireland are invited to participate in the pilgrimage.
The Sacrament of Reconciliation will be available on the mountain from 7.30am and will conclude at 2.00pm.
The first Mass on the summit will be celebrated at 8.00am and every half hour after that until the final Mass of the day at 2.00pm.
Pilgrims who intend to make the climb should follow instructions of stewards. While it is a custom for some pilgrims to make the climb barefoot, pilgrims are advised to wear suitable clothing and footwear and to take care as they climb.
Croagh Patrick – Ireland’s Holy Mountain
Croagh Patrick, (c.2,510ft/765m) Ireland’s holy mountain, dominates the landscape of southwest Mayo both spiritually and physically. The Croagh Patrick pilgrimage is associated with St Patrick who, in 441, spent 40 days and nights fasting on the summit, following the example of Christ and Moses. The name ‘Reek Sunday’ comes from Patrick’s ability to Christianise many pagan customs including the festival of Lughnasa, which previously had heralded the start of the harvest festival honouring the ancient pagan god Lugh, whose name is encompassed in the Irish word for August: Lughnasa. This festival’s tradition became absorbed into the new Christian beliefs and locally become known as Domhnach na Cruaiche (Reek Sunday).
A virtual tour of the mountain, can be viewed on the website of the Archdiocese of Tuam www.tuamarchdiocese.org and the website of Westport parish www.westportparish.ie also contains additional information about the Holy Mountain.