Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Reefert Church

Looking thru the door into Reefert Church
I've visited a ton of monastic ruins on my two visits to Ireland. They're all special, but this tiny church tucked away near the Upper Lake at Glendalough is the ruin that has most touched my heart. Reefert Church was probably built in either the 10th or 11th century on the site of an earlier wood or wattle and daub church. It's the oldest church in this area.
The church was known in the region as The Princes's Church as according to tradition, it is the burial site of seven kings of the O'Toole family. The O'Tooles held power in this area from the 12th to the 16th century. There are many grave markers all around the church.
View from the small window over the altar area.
Reefert Church is considered to be the likely site of St. Kevin's tomb. His hermitage is nearby...a beehive cell for meditation and along the Upper Lake, a cave in which he spent time in solitude. As the founding hermit of this beautiful place, he obviously needed time away from the many monks who followed him here to learn from him and share his ascetic life.

This side of the valley never saw the sun during the Irish winter. It must have been a joy to Kevin to be here in the spring and pray looking out the altar window when the sun finally shone and the trees turned leafy green.

1 comment:

  1. What beautiful photos, Evelyn. I look forward to following your blog.