XirCammini will be walking the Irish Caminos in August 2019 consisting of (a.) St. Kevin’s in County Wicklow, (b.) St. Finbarr’s in County Cork, (c.) Cnoc na dTobar in County Kerry, (d.) Cosán na Naomh in the Dingle Peninsula and (e.) Tochar Padraig in County Mayo.
Any one interested to learn more about our treks please drop us an email on information@XirCammini.org or follow us on our Facebook Page ‘XirCammini’: https://www.facebook.com/XirCammini/?view_public_for=2202460050021157
This is the first piece of a five part series on the Celtic Saints commemorated on the Irish Caminos.
Part One: St. Kevin’s Path (Wicklow Way | Glendalough)
Kevin, or Coemgen (in Celtic) means of Noble Birth. Kevin was, in fact, of noble birth from County Lienster; born in the late 5th century A.D (i.e. almost 1 century before the return of Roman Catholicism to the British Isles by St. Augustine who landed in Thanet, Kent in 597 AD).
Little is known about St. Kevin other than in late medieval records preserved by the Franciscans in Dublin. It is believed (from 17th century tradition) that he was a pupil of St. Petroc of Cornwall. There is significant evidence of aesthetic spirituality and evangelistic activity between the British Isles that pre-dates the return of Roman Christianity. Celtic Christianity flourished through the efforts of mainly Irish, Welsh and Scottish evangelists. Roman Christianity returned to Great Britain (and later to Ireland) with St. Augustine in 597 AD. Before this time, St. Petroc himself was born in Wales but studied in Ireland before going on a pilgrimage to Rome and returning to Cornwall where he founded his monastery. St. Kevin studied under St. Petroc when the latter was in Ireland.
Following his ordination by Bishop Lughaidh (Lugitus), he moved to Glendalough where he established his hermitage.
Glendalough (literally, the valley of two lakes) was at the time a very remote place and ideal as a place of seclusion and contemplation. He initially lived in, what is believed to be, a Bronze Age tomb; now known as St. Kevin’s Bed overlooking the upper lake. St. Kevin lived there for several years in quiet contemplation, bare-foot, wearing animal hide and surrounded by nature. Not unlike John the Baptist, disciples started flocking to him. By 540 AD Glendalough attracted more and more followers who came to listen to St. Kevin’s teachings. A monastery was founded and this became a seminary, the mother of other monasteries in Ireland and a place of pilgrimage. St. Kevin died in the early 7th century AD and is one of the Patron Saints of Dublin.
This trek promises to be invigorating physically as well as spiritually (for those who want it to be so). Furthermore, there is nothing that beats exercise in fresh air in the company of friends for our well-being. One starts St. Kevin’s Way from either the village of Hollywood or from Valleymount and is around 30 km long.
While this year’s XirCammini Irish Caminos are fully subscribed, we look forward to hearing from you if you are interested in joining either XirCammini as a member, another one of our other treks this year or the Irish Caminos in 2020. Our walks are not limited to existing XirCammini members or, indeed, to people travelling from Malta. For anyone wishing to join us from overseas, arrangements can be made for us to meet us at destination prior to commencing a trek. But prior notice would be required so that we can organize any local transport to / from start / end of a trek, accommodation as well as daily baggage transfers where applicable.
XirCammini is registered as an Association with the Office of the Commissioner for Voluntary Organisations, Malta (VO No: 1646). Contact details: