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Camino and Relic in Honour of St Brigid.

If you are looking to get out and about this celebratory bank holiday weekend in honour of St Brigid, look no further than Monasterevin and Co Kildare.

Faughart, Co. Louth is famously known as the birthplace of St Brigid, but according to local Kildare legend, St Brigid was actually born in Umeras just outside Monasterevin.

Relic of St Brigid, St Brigid’s Parish Church, Kildare Town.
Pic. G. Willoughby.©

Located less than an hour away from Thurles, tomorrow (Monday February 5th), visitors to Monasterevin can take part in a Camino in honour of St Brigid. At 11:00am the walk starts at St Brigid’s Shrine at the Monasterevin – Rathangan Road (414), Eircode: W34 X529. Car parking is provided at Mountrice Cross. The walk will be led by Bishop of Kildare & Leighlin, Bishop Denis Nulty and will follow a route via Umeras and then along the New Canal Blueway. The walk is approximately 6km and finishes at the Church of St Peter and St Paul Monasterevin, with a ‘Service of light’ at 12:30pm.

All participants of the Camino will receive a certificate of completion, stamped at the Church of St Peter and St Paul. Refreshments and St Brigid crosses will be available to all on the day also.

After the Camino, why not travel 10 minutes up the road to Kildare Town and visit a relic of St Brigid that has returned to her native Kildare for the first time in 1000 years.

Currently on display in St Brigid’s Parish Church, Kildare Town, the relic is reputed to be a bone fragment from the skull of St Brigid who died in approximately 524. 2024 is the year of ‘Brigid 1500’ celebrations because it is 1500 years since her death.

The relic has returned to Kildare Town from Lumiar, outside Lisbon. Legend has it that three Irish Knights who carried the relic as they journeyed to the Holy Land to fight in the crusades, were killed in Lumiar. The relic remained there for hundreds of years at the church of St John the Baptist where the knights were laid to rest. The relic is now on display in a specially commissioned silver oak tree display box. The choice of an oak tree is very symbolic and apt. ‘Kildare’ in Irish is ‘Cill Dara’ which literally means ‘Church of the Oak’ and refers to St Brigid’s Church that was built beneath an Oak tree.

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