To the north of Dundalk, Co Louth, Faughart is an ancient place filled with a history that is both gentle and fierce. It is a place associated with battles, boundaries and travel. The Sli Midhluachra, one of the 5 ancient roads of Ireland, runs through the hill of Faughart on its way from the Hill of Tara, to Armagh and then to the north coast of Ireland, making it a strategically important place.
However, Faughart is also a place of deep peace, tranquillity, beauty and healing, being associated from ancient times with Brigid, Pre-Christian Goddess and Christian Saint . Brigid holds the energy of the Divine Feminine within the Celtic Spiritual tradition. The mystical woman St. Moneena was also associated with Faughart before she moved to the quieter place near Kileavy, Co Armagh, where she created her monastery . So over the centuries, Faughart has been a place where the polarities of inner and outer life, battles and prayers have been experienced. For the people in Louth, Monaghan, Armagh and Down, Faughart is the place associated with Brigid, the compassionate woman who heals, advises and nurtures all who come to her in times of need. People are drawn to her shrine at Faughart because of the deep peace they experience there. Brigid’s peaceful presence can be experienced in this landscape where the ancient beech trees radiate old knowledge and hold a compassionate space for us all.
People, of all ages and from all walks of life, come to Faughart throughout the year to honour and pray to Brigid. However on La Feile Bhride (Feb 1st) people come in their multitudes! On this special day the shrine at Faughart is thronged with pilgrims who come to invoke Brigid’s blessing on their emerging lives. Brigid is associated with springtime and new life emerging. She is the one who “breathes life into the mouth of dead winter.”
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