Thursday, March 17, 2016

St. Patrick's Tooth

Last fall, while Math Man played a round of golf on the Irish coast, I took a walk along the water, then across the runway of the small airport to the ruins of an 11th century church, Cill Easpaig Bhroin (Bishop Bron's church).  There has been a church here since the 5th century, on the site where St. Patrick came for a visit, lost a tooth and left it with his dear friend St. Bron.

The tooth eventually became an important relic of Patrick, the reliquary is still extant, in collection of the National Museum of Ireland in Dublin.

These coastal churches, seats of bishops or not, are tiny, and I kept trying to imagine what they looked like on a Sunday morning, when people crossed from the islands in the bay at low tide.  It was raw and cold, even on this October day, and I suspect a packed church was one way to stay warm.

The sign giving the history of the area noted that the cemetery was used until 1961, then officially closed, but there were grave markers as recent as 2015.

Walking across the end of the runway was an experience.  I watched a couple of planes take off from a distance while I was out clambering around the ruins, but didn't have to wait to cross either time!

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