Máméan Chapel

Máméan Chapel

FORUM8 West
Description
Máméan – The Pass of the Birds Máméan is an ancient pagan site situated in the Maamturk Mountains in Connemara. St Patrick is reputed to have visited it at some stage in the 5th century to challenge the power of the druids. Since then it has become a Christian, and specifically, a Patrician place of pilgrimage. At the end of the 19th century and early in the 20th century the pilgrimage was discontinued due to faction fights and excessive poitín drinking! However, in 1980, the Jesuit, Fr Micheál MacGréil revived the tradition of Máméan being a place of worship and reflection. The small Chapel, Holy Well and Stations of the Cross were renovated and a large statue of St Patrick placed to look down the valley. 'I always felt close to Máméan," observed Fr. Micheál. "My grandparents had their sheep on Binn Mhairg, and I'd spend my summer holidays with them as a child in the 30s and 40s. So I always loved that place." "As long as I am a priest," says Fr. McGreal, with quiet determination, "I'll say Mass at Máméan once a year. It's a remarkable experience. Nearly 1,000 people can be up there. I like it when they pray in total silence -- but you have to be very tolerant of the way people worship their God! "When they are all quiet, it's beautiful, even in the wind, the fog and mist -- just beautiful." Official pilgrimages are held three times a year, on St Patrick's Day, Good Friday and the Sunday following Reek Sunday. #mamean_chapel
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