15,000 pilgrims climb Croagh Patrick

Published: 27 July 1913

In good weather it was estimated that 15,000 pilgrims took part in the annual Croagh Patrick climb. Many Masses were celebrated on the mountain, and a particularly eloquent sermon was delivered by the Very Rev. Dr. McCaffrey of Maynooth, while the Rev. Fr. Augustine delivered a full sermon in Irish. Pilgrims travelled from across Ireland, Britain and beyond; Westport was besieged with people seeking accommodation.

The railway companies ran upwards of twenty special excursions from Dublin and other major centres to ensure that the large crowds could get to Westport in a timely fashion. In his sermon, the Very Rev. Dr. McCaffrey warned against the perils of religious indifference and the current vogue for driving religion out of public life and from the schools. He predicted that under the future native parliament religious persecution would be unheard of and he outlined his hope that Ireland's leading politicians that the concept of a thoroughly progressive democracy is not at odds the tradition of the Catholic Church.

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