Garland Sunday

The programme of devotions at Tobernalt reaches a climax at the Garland Sunday weekend (last weekend in July). The numbers coming to Tobernalt over the weekend are in the thousands. While Sligo people throng to the well, many pilgrims come from neighbouring counties as far away as Fermanagh, Meath and Cork for the Sunday devotions.

The weekend devotions typically commence on Friday. Pilgrims are invited to make their own individual pilgrimage to Tobernalt and prepare for the weekend. The Rosary is recited at 7:00pm on Friday evening. Saturday night is devoted to a penitential service and confessions at 7:00pm, followed by Mass at 7:30pm. Garland Sunday begins at dawn and it is customary for the Bishop of Elphin to celebrate the 6:00am Mass. Morning Mass is at 10:00am while the noon Mass is a special Mass for the sick, during which the Sacrament of the Sick is administered.  Celebrations conclude at 3:30pm with an hour of devotion to the Blessed Scarament with prayers and reflections.


The Holy Rosary

Tobernalt is scattered with Rosary stones representing each mystery of the Rosary. Tobernalt is scattered with Rosary stones representing each mystery of the Rosary. The Rosary is made up of twenty "mysteries" (significant events or moments in the life of Jesus and Mary), which, following the Apostolic Letter Rosarium Virginis Mariae, are grouped into four series.

The Joyful Mysteries - Mon/Sat
The Luminous Mysteries - Thur
The Sorrowful mysteries - Tue/Fri
The Glorious mysteries - Wed/Sun


The Stations Of The Cross

The pilgrim begins with the opening prayer;

"Lord Jesus Christ,
take me along that holy way
you once took to your death,
Take my mind, my memory,
above all, my reluctant heart,
and let me see what once you did
for love of me and all the world"

Next, the pilgrim meditates on each station of the cross and prays;

"We adore you, O Christ,
and we bless you,
because by your holy cross,
you have redeemed the world"

After each station the pilgrim says an Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be...



Here in this quiet and secluded place the pilgrim can light a candle and place their own unique petition before the many shrines to the God that they journey with in this world.

The Crucifixion Scene: Overlooking the well is the lifesize crucifixion figures. This scene includes Our Lady standing on the right of Jesus, Mary Magdalene sorrowing at the base of the Cross and St. John the Evangelist, the Patron Saint of Carraroe Parish, on the left.

Our Lady Of Lourdes: On the cliff to the right of the crucifixion scene stands Our Lady of Lourdes. In 1858, the Blessed Virgin came down from her heavenly home and appeared to Bernadette Soubirous, a young girl of just fourteen years of age. On the 11th February, while gatering wood, Bernadette heard a whistle of wind. With astonished eyes she saw a niche in the upper part of a rock filled with golden light, and there in the midst of it stood a Lady of great beauty. In her apparitions our Lady appealed for penance and prayers for sinners. On 25th March, the feast of the Annunciation, the Blessed Mother declared her name to Bernadette and the World.

St. Anne: The dignity of St. Anne is great because her daughter was Mary, predestined from all eternity to be the Mother of God, sanctified in her conception, the undefiled Virgin, the Mediatrix of all graces. Her Grandson was the Son of God made Man, the Messiah, the Expected of Nations. Mary is not only the joy and crown, but the foundation for all the glory and power of her mother. St. Anne was zealous in performing good works and striving for virtue. She loved God sincerely, and was resigned to his Holy Will in all sufferings. As a wife and mother, she was faithful in fulfilling the duties required of her toward her husband and her loving daughter Mary.

holywell shrines

A Time To Reflect

Tobernalt Holy Well have sparked many a poetic moment and inspring literature. People have been talking and writing about this historic place for hundreds of years.

  © 2007 - 2011 St John's Parish, Carraroe, Sligo