This year the “Pattern” or Traditional Pilgrimage of St. Ciaran took place on his actual Feastday- Sept 9th.
The Church of Ireland hold an open air service on the last Sunday in July while the annual St Ciarán’s Pattern Day is held on the on the Second Sunday in September, or if possible celebrated on the 9th of September (St Ciarán’s feast day) as it was this year.
“Pattern” is a word derived from “Patrún” (Irish for (Patron). The traditional Pattern Prayers takes approximately 4 hours and is carried out in movement from St. Ciaran’s Well, to the Nun’s Church on the ancient Pilgrim Road to the Monastic Site. For the purpose of the people gathered at Clonmacnoise we pray an adapted pattern with the Rosary.
The crowd of about 4-500 people tend to disperse around the open grounds, seeking shelter from “St. Ciaran’s wind” as it’s called locally. September by the Shannonside in an open plain can be a bleak place! This year we were joined by walkers who came across land from Athlone the 14km as part of the Turas Columbanus.