Lough Derg is located on a small island off of Donegal county, Ireland. It is a penitential pilgrimage, and it will rock your world.
Lough Derg offers a three-day pilgrimage where pilgrims “let go” of the many luxuries of daily life, and focus on fasting, penance and prayer. Pilgrims on the three day pilgrimage travel to the island and live without access to any technology. They fast the entire three days, allowing themselves only water and one “Lough Derg” meal a day which is black coffee or tea and dried wheat bread. Pilgrims also walk barefoot throughout their pilgrimage and complete nine “station prayers” which each take about an hour to complete throughout their time on the island. The culminating event of this pilgrimage is a 24hr Vigil, where pilgrims stay actively awake for 24hrs with no sleep whatsoever.
The website is quick to point out what significance such an intense pilgrimage can be in the lives of the pilgrims who attend, “Without shoes and sleep and little food in our stomachs we are confronted about the essential aspects of life, everything else is stripped away and we can often discover our hidden strengths and rediscover what really matters in life”.
It is clear that this pilgrimage requires endurance. To go on the Lough Derg, you must be at least fifteen years of age and physically fit enough to handle the events of the pilgrimage. It is clear that there are many spiritual riches to be inherited by prayerfully foregoing comforts and drawing closer to Christ.
To learn more information about this pilgrimage, and to see if you can make it, head to the website here.