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Patti Wigington

Ireland's Saintly Women

By February 11, 2012

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There's a fascinating piece over at National Geographic about Celeste Ray, who has spent a significant amount of time studying Ireland's female saints, many of whom stem from early pre-Christian traditions. A year-long expedition allowed her to visit about 250 holy wells and sacred springs, places at which these women are still worshiped today.

While the saints themselves are Catholic today, their rituals have a decidedly Pagan flair. Offerings are left by devotees, and the entire process has a mystical quality about it.

Ray's project also focused on how these early saints fared during the Protestant reformation and earlier Anglo-Norman efforts to replace all female saints with the Virgin Mary. It's an interesting look at how traditions have managed to survive, albeit in different forms, throughout the centuries.

Like all NatGeo articles, the photos are spectacular as well, so be sure to scroll through the image wheel at the top of the article.

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February 13, 2012 at 8:59 am
(1) Terrwyn says:

A wonderful tidbit about the strong Irish women that lead the way for us in spirit. Thanks, Patti, for your constant awareness and sharing. Peace

February 15, 2012 at 9:07 pm
(2) jessica says:

I have a relative who sent me water from Bridgets well. I blessed my koi pond with it . I .now feel like the water in my pond is blessed an I use it for purification. It was great to see a picture of the well and know that people still revere it for what it is.

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