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Patrick’s Path

Patrick’s Path    -   A SPIRITUAL GUIDE

Fáilte / Welcome

Mountains speak to us.

They make us look up.

They draw us irresistibly towards the beyond…

They touch our souls.

Before beginning ‘the climb’, take a moment to gaze at Croagh Patrick…

You want to make it to the top.

How about doing so as a pilgrim?

Let God be your guide.

Let Him reveal to you the sacredness of your own life’s path…

Let Him bless you as you set out, lead you forward in confidence, and accompany your every step of the way…

Remember, you’re in good company;

Moses, Jesus, Patrick. Climb it mindfully.

Encounter God...

This is your spiritual guide map.

It invites you to stop at five places:

At the foot of the Reek

Along the path

At the ridge

On the summit

On the way down

Pause, somewhere, at each place

and read the short refection and prayer…


1. At the foot of the Reek: a moment to set out

“‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths’”. Isaiah 2:3


As I set out today on this holy mountain,

I ask for your blessing.

I give thanks for my physical well-being, for the gift of life itself,

and for the many times that I have already set out in life…

Recall some of those times e.g. as a child or young person;

beginning a new job or relationship; after some loss or difficulty…

As I walk the path before me

I ask for the grace, Lord, to know you as my companion and friend,

to trust in your providence and to shelter always in the security of your love.

I entrust the needs of my heart to you, now, and the cares of those I know and love…

I set out in your name.

Go raibh liomsa inniu, Triúr ar shliabh Athair,

Mac is Spiorad Naomh.

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.


2. Along the path- a moment to catch your breath

“- then the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life;” Genesis 2:7


As I look back, I notice that I’ve come quite a distance but I need to stop and catch my breath!

Refect on a time when you found the going tough;

when you almost lost your footing or were stopped in your tracks.

A time when you had to take more than a few deep breaths…


Feel the air in your lungs…

Breathe in peace, breathe out anxiety…

Breathe in beauty, breathe out hurt...

Breathe in love, breathe out fear…

Become aware of God’s Spirit sustaining you…

Be ‘inspired’ as you stop and stare…

As I resume my journey up this incline I ask for the grace, Lord,

to remain compassionate towards myself, steadfast despite setbacks,

and mindful of the fact that mist and cloud eventually lift...

I continue in your name.

Go raibh liomsa inniu, Triúr ar shliabh

Athair, Mac is Spiorad Naomh.

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.


3. At the ridge – a moment to rest

“Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28


What a relief! A level path and a place to sit down! I watch the world go by… Many stop to greet each other: they chat, laugh, lend a helping hand or offer a word of encouragement…

One or two are barefoot, some have sticks and many more carry backpacks and extra gear. But what about the hidden stuff, Lord? What about the invisible, private burdens that each person silently carries?




being let down by a loved one, the list is endless…

Refect for awhile on what may be weighing you down at this moment in your life... Imagine yourself bringing it to Jesus. How does he respond?

As I prepare, now, to climb ‘the cone’,

I ask for the grace, Lord,

to become free of the compulsion to keep busy and in control and to make time, instead, for what is important: you, me, and friends in need…

I press on in your name.

Go raibh liomsa inniu, Triúr ar shliabh

Athair, Mac is Spiorad Naomh.

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.


4. On the summit – a moment to bow your head

“ Praise God in his holy place ” Psalm 150:1


I’ve made it and I thank and praise you!

I thank you for the beauty of creation, the wonder of my being, the challenge of life’s path, the call of an eternal destination, the gifts of endurance and hope, the blessing of people along the way…

I thank you, above all, for drawing me towards you:

towards the realisation that I am loved, that my life truly matters, that you seek my friendship and that you want me to share in the task of making your kingdom come… I thank and praise you, ‘my Lord and my God’…

During your time on the summit find a place for yourself to be with God in silence. Sit or kneel down. Speak from your heart. Listen in the depths of your soul. Come close to God and God will come close to you…Be still… God is near… God is here…

Remember, also, loved ones who have completed their life’s journey. Commend them to the Lord as you say:

Eternal rest, grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace.  

May their souls and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

As I begin the descent I ask for the grace, Lord, to let you be Lord of my life; to let you transform my ways that I might find you in all things and follow you in faith, hope and love…

I leave the summit in your name.

Go raibh liomsa inniu, Triúr ar shliabh

Athair, Mac is Spiorad Naomh.

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.


5. On the way down – a moment to let go

“‘Jesus is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you.’” Mark 16:7


It’s great to be on the way down and I can only marvel at the splendour of this place as I leave it behind me…

Call to mind some habit or negative attitude that you wish to let go of and ask God to help you to do so…

Before you set out on the last leg of your pilgrim journey say a prayer for those still ‘on the way up’…

As I return, now, to the familiar terrain of daily life, I ask for the grace, Lord, to treasure the memory of this journey, to let its gifts continue to bless my life and to remember, often, to look up… to look up to you, from where my help comes… Go raibh liomsa inniu, Triúr ar shliabh

Athair, Mac is Spiorad Naomh.

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.


The Deer’s Cry / St. Patrick’s Breastplate

I arise today

Through the strength of heaven

Light of sun

Radiance of moon

Splendor of fire

Speed of lightning

Swiftness of wind

Depth of the sea

Stability of earth

Firmness of rock

I arise today

Through God’s strength to pilot me

God’s eye to look before me,

God’s wisdom to guide me,

God’s way to lie before me,

God’s shield to protect me

From all who shall wish me ill

Afar and a-near,

Alone and in a multitude

Against every cruel,

Merciless power

That may oppose my body and soul

Christ with me,

Christ before me,

Christ behind me,

Christ in me,

Christ beneath me,

Christ above me,

Christ on my right,

Christ on my left,

Christ when I lie down,

Christ when I sit down,

Christ when I arise,

Christ to shield me,

Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,

Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,

I arise today.

(translated from old Irish by Kuno Meyer)

“And Patrick proceeded to the summit of the mountain, climbing Cruachán Aigli and stayed there forty days and forty nights . . .

Click to download - Patrick’s Path - A SPIRITUAL GUIDE here:

” Book of Armagh

Acknowledgements Photo: Liam Lyons; Text: Mary Connolly; Biblical quotations: the New Revised Standard Version, copyright © 1989, Division of Christian Education and of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA. Imprimatur: +Michael Neary - Archbishop of Tuam July 2013. Produced by the Administrator of Westport Parish, custodian of St. Patrick’s Oratory, Croagh Patrick National Shrine.

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