Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto, Cahirkeem, County Cork, Ireland

One of the things I love about traveling around the Beara Peninsula is discovering all the surprises tucked away here and there across the countryside. Some of my favourites include the many Marian shrines and grottos tucked into the sides of hills and along the roadways of Ireland.

We were on our way to visit the Mass Rock in Cahirkeem and spotted this lovely grotto. The inscription at the gate reads,“Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto, Cahirkeem, Blessed and Opened Dec.8th, 1953, Marian Year 1953 4″.

The grotto itself is remarkably lush and green and exudes a feeling of peace. I stood awhile enjoying the tranquility of the spot and carefully took in the whole scene. One thing about the shrine that struck me above all else was the water.

A fresh, living trickle of clean spring water flowed from below the feet of the Virgin and down the steps to the gate. I realized at one time, long before the shrine was built and afterward, this lovely little spot was likely an important sacred place, a place of prayer and supplication.

 This humble little place in nature reminded me of the Pilgrim’s Prayer that stands at the entrance to the Tobernalt Holy Well in County Sligo. It also reminded me of the journey we were about to take to the Mass Rock just around the corner from the grotto. I’ll be blogging about our visit to that haunting place in my next entry. Until then, I’ve copied the prayer for you here:

Pilgrim walk softly, this is holy ground.

It has been made holy by the feet of generations

Who came here to worship God

To hear mass

To honour Our Lady

To pray for their needs and for peace.

Here are memories of a poor, persecuted people.

They braved death to come.

They walked barefoot through the woods

To worship in secret.

Here are memories of hunted priests

Offering mass in this hallowed place,

At the risk of their lives.

Will their sufferings and sacrifices be in vain?

They have handed us a torch.

Let us keep that torch alight.


About Susanne Iles

Contemporary symbolist artist, writer,curator,and geek/nerd girl . Interested in photography, mythology, alchemy,ancient history,science,gaming and magic.
This entry was posted in Beara Peninsula, Cahirkeem, County Cork, Historical Site, Holy Well, Ireland, Marian Shrine, Ring of Beara and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto, Cahirkeem, County Cork, Ireland

  1. gawne says:

    Ah Sue, you've done it again. Thanks so much for this entry.Bill Gawne

  2. Pingback: Don’t Blink! You Might Just Miss Lovely Lehanmore! | The Ring of Beara Blog

  3. Pingback: Mass Rock: Cahirkeem, County Cork, Ireland | The Ring of Beara Blog

  4. Pingback: Stories of Heaven and Hell on the Glengarriff Road to Castletownbere | The Ring of Beara Blog

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