St Patrick’s Purgatory is an ancient pilgrimage site on Station Island in Lough Derg, County Donegal, Ireland. According to legend, the site dates from the fifth century, when Christ showed Saint Patrick a cave, sometimes referred to as a pit or a well, on Station Island that was an entrance to Purgatory. Its importance in medieval times is clear from the fact that it is mentioned clearly in texts from as early as 1185 and shown on maps from all over Europe as early as the fifteenth century. It is the only Irish site designated on Martin Behaim‘s world map of 1492.
Three legendary stories excited the minds of the people in the middle ages that are about St. Patricks Purgatory. The 2 former were insignificant in comparison with the last. It was about the middle of the 12th centry that a Benedictine monk, named henry of Saltrey, established the wondrous and widespread reputation of an insignificant islet in a dreary lake, among the bearren morasses and mountains of Donegal, by giving to the world the Legend of the Knight. This legend, extravagant in our eyes, but in perfect accordance with the ideas of that age, was a sort of composition out of various previous notions, including one which held that the land of departed souls lay in the west.
It represented its hero, Sir Owen, as an Irish man, who with courage and fidelity had served in the wars of King Stephen of England. Returning to Ireland to see his parents, he was seized with sudden remorse for his many sins; for he had lived a life of bloodshed and rapine, and had not scrupled to plunder churches, maltreat nuns, and apply the most sacred things to his own profance use and benefit. In this penitent mood he determined to visit St. Patricks Purgatory, with the view of washing away the guilt of so many misdemeanours.
Respecting the origin of the Purgatory, the legend states that when St. Patrick was endeavouring to convert the Irish by telling them of the torments of the infernal regions, the people crie, ‘We cannot believe such things, unless we see them.’ So, the saint, miraculously causing the earth to open, showed them the flaming entrance of the place of punishment; and the unbelieving heathens were at once converted to the true faith. St. Patrick, then placed a gate on the cave, and building an abbey near it, entrusted the key to the prior, so that he had the privilege of admitting pilgrims. The penitent who wished to enter had to pass a probation of 15 days in prayer and fasting; and on the 16th, having received the sacrament, e was led in solemn procession t the gate. Having entered, the gate was locked by the prior, and not opened till the following day. If the pilgrim were found when the gatewas re opened, he was received with great joy; if not, he was understood to have perished in the Purgatory, and his name was never after mentioned.
The knight, having duly performed the preliminary ceremonies, entered the cave, and travelled till he came to a spacious hall, where he was kindly received by 15 venerable men, clothed in white garments, who gave him directions for his future guidance. Leaving the old men, and travelling onwards, he was soon attacked by tropps of demons, whom he successfully resisted by earnest prayer. Still pushing on he passed through four ‘fields” of punishment, by fire, ice, serpents, &c. , that need not be too particularly described. He ascended a lofty mountain, from whence he was blown by a hurricane into a horribly filthy river; and, after many adventures, surrounded by millions of demons, and , after many adventures, surrounded by millions of demons, and wretched souls in dreadful tortures, he succeeded in crossing a narrow bridge, and found his troubles over, the malignant demons not daring to follow him farther. Pursuinghis journey, he soon arrived at a wall as bright as glass, and entering a golden gate, found himself in the garden of eden among those happy souls who had expiated their sins, and were now waiting to be received into the celestial Paradise. Here, Owen wished to remain, but was told that he must again return to the world, there to die and leave his corporeal fabric. As he was for ever exempt from the punishment of Purgatory, he was shown a short and pleasant road back to the mouth of the cave; where he was received with great joy by the prior and monks of the abbey.
The earliest authentic record of a visit to Lough Derg is in the form of letters testimonial, granted, in 1358, by Edward III. To Ungarus of Rimini and Nicholas of Beccaria, in proof of their having faithfully performed the pilgrimage to St Patricks Purgatory. There are some documents of a similar description in the archi episcopal archives of Armagh; and in 1397 Richard II. Granted a safe conductpass to Raymond, Viscount Perilhos, and Knight Interspersed with personal history and political matters. There is yet anotheraccount of a pilgrimage by one William Staunton in 1409, preserved among the Cotoonian MSS. in the British Museum. Staunton’s story differs slightly from that of the knight. He was fortunate enough to meet with a countryman in the Purgatory, one St. John of Bridlington, who protected him from the demons. He also had a romantic and affecting interview with a pre deceased sister and her lover there; and was ultimately rescued by a fair woman, who drew him out of the fiery gulf with a rope that he had once charitably given to a beggar. 
Kicked Out of Heaven Vol. III $54.00
The Untold History of The White Races Cir. 700 – 1700 a.d.
585 pages 720 pictures
- ISBN-10: 1943820074
- ISBN-13: 978-1943820078
Kicked Out of Heaven Vol. III is divided into 2 parts. The First part of this volume goes over The Catholic Church’s history during the Dark Ages & Medieval Times. These are a some of the things that are discussed: The Castrati (Castrated Boy Choir), Holy Blood & Organs, Jesus’s Holy Prepuce (Foreskin), The Penance & Anathema, The Fish Bishop, Saints that Levitate, The Incorruptible Saints, The Nun Manias, All Religious Holidays explained, The Heretics: The Luciferians, The Spanish Inquisition. The Second half of this book is a focus on the art of the times. These are the subjects reviewed: Monsters & Gargoyles, Castles & Knight Armory, More on Medicine & Magic, More on Werewolves, Demons & Hell, Over 100 Different Black Madonnas & Moorish Saints, The Catacomb Bone Churches, The Bejewelled Saints, Aliens, Astrology & Alchemy………………….
The Guardian: The gateway to hell? Hundreds of anti-witch marks found in Midlands cave.