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Saint Aidan of Ferns, Christopher Power
Saint Aidan of Ferns, Christopher Power
Saint Aidan of Ferns, Christopher Power
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Saint Aidan of Ferns, Christopher Power

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Saint Aidan of Ferns is written by Christopher Power, a historian and librarian living in Ferns. He has tracked the story of St Aidan, the founder and first bishop of the diocese of Ferns, through the places named after him, the archaeological remains and the literature that recounts his miraculous works, based on the hagiographies of the early Saints. There are two holy wells dedicated to St Aidan: St Mogue’s Well in Ferns, Co. Wexford and St Maedhog’s well at Whitesands, Pembrokeshire. Additionally, there are a number of churches and cathedrals including St Edan’s Cathedral in Ferns, St Aidan’s Cathedral, Enniscorthy, St Mogue’s at Haroldston West, Pembrokeshire and St Aidan’s Church at Llawhaden, Pembrokeshire. The locations of these sites correspond to Aidan’s life’s journey, in particular the two regions where his impact was most keenly felt: Wexford and Pembrokeshire. 

A reliable and clean source of water is essential for any community, so it is easy to understand how important wells were for pre-modern peoples. More complex is the mystical relationship humans have developed with these sites, which are imbued with a sacredness that predates Christianity. Holy Wells of Wexford and Pembrokeshire is a series of five chapbooks celebrating holy wells in two regions with common ancestry and history. Since at least the Bronze Age, sea travel between these two lands has meant cross fertilisation of traditions and common names associated with wells of both regions. Of significance is the long-standing friendship between two early Christian saints: David, who became the first Bishop of St Davids; and Aidan, born in Ireland, who spent time in Wales and then founded monasteries in Ireland, including at Ferns. In Oilgate, Wexford, there is a well dedicated to David and, at Whitesands near St Davids in Pembrokeshire, there is one named after Aidan. Each of the five books approaches the subject from different perspectives and mediums, including fiction, poetry and essays as well as photographs and prints.

Holy Wells of Wexford and Pembrokeshire is a series of five chapbooks commissioned by Ancient Connections, an EU funded arts, heritage and tourism project linking north Pembrokeshire with north Wexford led by Pembrokeshire County Council with partners Wexford County Council, Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority and Visit Wexford. The series coincides with the launch of a new pilgrim route; Wexford-Pembrokeshire Pilgrim Way between Ferns in County Wexford and St Davids in Pembrokeshire. The holy wells explored in this series through fiction, essays, photographs, poetry and prints are all on or close to the new pilgrim route. 

Published by PARTHIAN
Softcover
42 pages
185 x 130 mm
ISBN 9781914595622

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