Reek Sunday

Sunday, 28 July, 2019

Thousands of people, young and old, some in their bare feet, made the arduous climb of the 764-metre Croagh Patrick in County Mayo today. According to local belief, Saint Patrick fasted for forty days and nights on the summit during Lent in the year 441 AD, and on the last Sunday in July every year (“Reek Sunday”), pilgrims from near and far climb the mountain in honour of Saint Patrick. Ireland’s holiest mountain is five miles from the town of Westport and overlooks Clew Bay.

The great Magnum photographer Josef Koudelka climbed Croagh Patrick in 1972 and captured the quintessence of rural Irish Catholicism in one iconic image. The kneeling pilgrims pictured are, from left to right, Sean Pheat Mannion, Paddy Kenny and Martin Mannion from Connemara. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a n-anam.

Croagh Patrick


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