On March 12, five members of Irish Society for Christian Civilisation (ISFCC) did a barefoot pilgrimage to the top of Croagh Patrick for the special intention of preserving the Eighth Amendment. The pilgrims were blessed with extraordinarily good weather on the way up the mountain and enjoyed a crystal clear view of Clew bay and its environs. In addition to going barefoot, the pilgrims carried up bagpipes which they played at the summit.
Starting at the statue of St. Patrick near the base of the mountain, the group prayed for the trip and stated their intentions, after which they removed their shoes and began the long climb. Frequent invocations on the way up, such as, "St. Patrick!" or, "Our Lady Refuge of Sinners!" elicited a strong response of "pray for us!" and gave them renewed enthusiasm.
Other visitors to Croagh Patrick were astonished to see the young men walking barefoot. "God bless us and save us; your feet!" one woman exclaimed. "I'm having a hard enough time in my shoes!"
A group of young men from France that were descending from the peak grew quiet when they passed by. Wide eyed, one of them let slip a silent, "Whoa." A little further up, was another group of French. The first group shouted back to the second, "Ils ont les pieds nus!" to which the second group replied, "Ils font un pèlerinage!"
Closer to the peak, the members of ISFCC passed a young couple. "You're barefoot!" the woman said breathlessly. Turning to her boyfriend she confirmed, "I told you people did that!"
As the afternoon wore on, the wind on the mountain grew increasingly stronger, just as the slope become exceedingly steep.
Step by step, they slowly climbed level to the clouds, and reached the peak. There they were rewarded with beautiful views of the verdant valley behind Croagh Patrick. Mountains covered with snow and struck with a rare patch of sunlight, dominated the landscape in the distance. The clear blue water of the ocean below shone brilliantly, broken only by the small green islands which stretched across the bay.
Marvelling at the panorama, the pilgrims forgot their pain and sang the Salve Regina in thanksgiving, followed by the ISFCC battle cry, "Tradition, Family, Property! Ireland!" Having completed the climb, the group replaced their shoes and prepared to play their bagpipes. Then, in the blink of an eye, the panoramas disappeared and the whole peak of the mountain was enveloped in a cloud. In that more than fitting setting, the bagpipers played Immaculate Mary. The dense cloud cover could do nothing to dampen the sound of the three bagpipes, and the notes rolled over the mountain to those who were climbing below.
Like the cloud that covered Croagh Patrick, the threat of abortion now covers the whole of Ireland. May St. Patrick help us fight the present threat of abortion, until the panoramas of a pro-life Ireland may be enjoyed once again.