A simple and heartfelt water ritual ceremony was performed in both Co Wexford and Pembrokeshire last week honouring St Aidan’s Feast Day which falls on 31st January.

The ceremony in Ferns was arranged by the Ferns Heritage Project entitled ‘The Legacy of a Saint: A stroll through the seen and unseen built heritage of St Aidan’.  Starting at St Mogue’s Well in Ferns, a large group witnessed the collection of water from the well to be taken across to St Non’s Well in Pembrokeshire, in spirit of the reawakened pilgrimage route between the two wells, the two saints and the two countries.

In St Davids in Pembrokeshire, David Pepper of the British Pilgrimage Trust introduced the event with the following words:

We gather here at St Non’s Well to honour and celebrate the life of St Aidan and his friendship with St David.

A friendship that forged an ancient connection between Ferns and St Davids which we continue to celebrate now and into the future through pilgrimage on the Wexford-Pembrokeshire Pilgrim Way.

We reflect on this day through the pouring of water from St Mogues Holy Well in Ferns, which was collected on Sunday the 29th of January as part of the Ferns Heritage Project event around the theme of continuity, through water and physical structures – the seen and unseen legacy of St. Aidan.

The event was further honoured by a poem penned by Richard Baker who attended the St Non’s event:

Around St Non’s Well.

Water from St Mogues, Ireland
Around St Non’s well
Symbolically unites,
Across sea and Welsh land,
Now given from hand to hand.

Water from Wexford passes clockwise
Around St Non’s well
On St Aidan’s day,
Below uplifting skies,
Watched by eight pairs of eyes.

Water so common, so key
Around St Non’s well
Makes Ancient Connections
Treading routes for all to see
On pilgrim trails beyond an Irish Sea.

Water so holy, inert and pure
Around St Non’s well
Cleanse me, refresh my eyes,
Help me endure
Life’s trials safe and sure.

Many thanks to Richard Baker for his words and Karel Jasper for her wonderful photography.

Group at water ritual
Pouring water into well

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