Some 80,000 catholics climbed the 2500-foot lonely Croagh Patrick mountain in County Mayo, Ireland, Aug 1, to attend mass at a small shrine named after St.
Some 80,000 catholics climbed the 2500-foot lonely Croagh Patrick mountain in County Mayo, Ireland, Aug 1, to attend mass at a small shrine named after St. Patrick of Ireland.
The ascent in this annual pilgrimage is arduous; the final stage to the summit is steeply sloping over loose stones. The pilgrims scaled it in a downpour. They included a 92 year old man, bearers with two stretcher cases, a Dublin housewife on her 23rd climb. 110 members of the Knights of Malta assisted pilgrims on the mountain.
The pilgrims came from all parts of Ireland and from Belgium, Holland, France, Germany and the United States. The trek began the previous evening and the first mass was celebrated at the shrine an hour before dawn, Among the 22 priests officiating was the Rev. J. O'Neil, C.S.S.R. of Australia.
In a message on the eve of the pilgrimage Archbishop Joseph Walsh of Tuam called for prayers that the faith in Ireland would remain strong and that Ireland would always remain a tower of strength to the Catholic church throughout the world. He also asked for prayers "for Catholics in Iron Curtain countries and the Far East where they were enduring more diabolical hardships and persecution than that of the early martyrs."