|Stations of the Reek|
Stations of the Reek
The performing of penitential exercises – the stations of the
Reek – is a very ancient custom. It is not possible from the records to state the exact date the stations of the Reek started, but it must have been soon after Saint Patrick’s visit. There are three stations:
Leacht Beanain (named after St. Patrick’s disciple Benignus) is at the base of the cone, consisting of a small, circular cairn of stones. The pilgrim walks around it seven times and says seven Our Fathers, seven Hail Marys and one Creed.
On reaching the summit, the pilgrim enters the second station of the Reek by kneeling and saying seven Our Fathers, seven Hail Marys and one Creed.
After praying for the Pope’s intentions near the Chapel, the pilgrim then walks fifteen times round the church in a clockwise direction saying fifteen Our Fathers, fifteen Hail Marys and one Creed.
Leaba Phádraig (Patrick’s Bed) is the conclusion of the second station. Here pilgrims walk round seven times, saying seven Our Fathers, seven Hail Marys and one Creed.
Roilig Mhuire (Virgin’s Cemetery) is some distance down on the western side of the mountain. Here there are three cairns of stones, and the pilgrim walks seven times round each cairn, saying seven Our Fathers, seven Hail Marys and one Creed and finally goes around the whole enclosure seven times praying. Roilig Mhuire is also known as Garraí Mór (Big Garden) and is probably a pre-Christian grave.
I believe in God, the Father almighty,
Creator of heaven and earth,
and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died and was buried;
he descended into hell;
on the third day he rose again from the dead;
he ascended into heaven,
and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty;
from there he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and life everlasting. Amen.
Imprimatur: +Michael Neary - Archbishop of Tuam July 2013.
Produced by the Administrator of Westport Parish, custodian of St.
Patrick’s Oratory, Croagh Patrick National Shrine.
All rights reserved.