ST. AUGUSTINE’S WELL
St. Augustine’s Holy Well is a tidal well that is said to have miraculous healing powers from its waters. Located on the shores of Lough Atalia, in Galway City, this well has a long history and tradition of devotion and pilgrimage.
St. Augustine’s Holy Well is named after St. Augustine of Hippo, a 4th century bishop and theologian who is considered one of the most influential fathers of the Church. According to legend, St. Augustine visited Ireland in the 5th century and preached in Galway, where he blessed the well and gave it its healing properties.
The well was a popular destination for pilgrims in the past, especially on the last Sunday in July or the first Sunday in August, which were known as St. Augustine’s Pattern Days. People would come to the well to pray, drink or wash with the water, and leave offerings such as coins, medals or rosaries. The well was especially renowned for curing eye ailments and other diseases.
One of the most famous stories associated with the well is that of a young boy who was cured of an incurable illness in 1673. The boy was immersed in the well by his parents and then had a vision of Jesus Christ in his sleep, who told him to drink from the well again and bless himself. The boy did as he was told and was miraculously healed.
The well fell into neglect and disrepair over time, as urban development encroached on its surroundings. However, in 2000, the Galway Civic Trust undertook a major renovation project to restore the well and improve its accessibility and appearance. The project involved erecting a retaining stone wall around the well, installing a bench and a commemorative plaque on site, and carving a stone cross with an image of St. Augustine and an inscription about the history of the well.
The well is still tidal, meaning that it is submerged by seawater twice a day, but it is possible to get close to it when the tide is low. The water is clear and fresh, and some people still come to the well to seek its blessings and benefits. The well is also a place of natural beauty and tranquility, where you can enjoy the views of Lough Atalia and its wildlife.
St. Augustine’s Holy Well is located on Lough Atalia Road. You can reach it by walking along the footpath that runs parallel to the lake shore. The well is open to the public at all times, but you should check the tide times before you visit, as the well may be inaccessible when the water level is high.
St. Augustine’s Holy Well is a hidden gem in Galway City that offers a glimpse into its rich religious and cultural heritage. Whether you are looking for healing, prayer or simply a quiet moment of reflection, this well is worth a visit.
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