Rafael Sorino from the Spanish embassy and Bishop of Meath, Michael Smith cutting the ribbon of the new garden at Christ The King Cathedral on Saturday.

Cathedral garden remembers Camino monks

The rain in Spain may stay mainly on the plain – but plainly the rain in Mullingar doesn’t, as worshippers who attended the opening of the new monks garden at Mullingar Cathedral can attest.

Following the Saturday vigil Mass, under umbrellas, Bishop Michael Smith oversaw the official ribbon-cutting by Spanish embassy representative, Rafael Sorino, marking the new links between Mullingar‘s new Camino walk from Fore, and Spain’s Camino walk to Compostela.

Buried at the garden are some of the monks whose remains were discovered during the archaeological dig ahead of the construction of Buckley’s supermarket in the 1990s. Some of the monks were found wearing scallop shells around their necks, proof that they had undertaken the Camino pilgrimage.

This year, by way of homage to the monks’ memory, a Way of the Monks ‘camino trail’ was created, and 400 people undertook the inaugural 22km walk from Fore Abbey to Mullingar.

The new garden has been partly funded by monies raised through that event.

During Mass at the Cathedral, Bishop Michael Smith spoke of the monks, and of Mullingar’s early religious life, before going on to mention the tragic rail accident at Compostela in July.

Fr Michael Kilmartin, CC, who has undertaken part of the camino walk in Spain, also spoke of Mullingar’s religious heritage, and of the link established between Mullingar and Compostela.