Station Island, Lough Derg, County Donegal, Ireland
St Patrick’s Purgatory is an ancient pilgrimage site isolated on this small island on Lough Derg meaning (Lake of the Cave). For over 1500 years pilgrims have been visiting the Lough Derg shores to find peace & pray for loved ones. Visitors to this monastery starve their selves for 3 days & nights, pray continuously & walk barefoot on sharp rocks amongst the cold & biting midges. This is all part of the pilgrimage here that is said to be one of the toughest to complete in the world!
According to legend this Island site dates from the fifth century, when Jesus Christ showed St Patrick a cave on Station Island. This cave was supposedly an entrance to Purgatory that St Patrick had visions in from the otherworld, hence the name “St Patricks Purgatory”. The cave that started it all has been closed since 1632 and covered over by the Basilica to protect others & welcomes people from all over the world to visit & pray over the gateway for all time.