St. Attracta
St. Attracta
(Cathedral window)

Attracta’s dates are uncertain. An old tradition says that she received the veil from St. Patrick which would place her in the later part of the fifth century. She founded her convent at Killaraght (Irish, Cill Adhracht, the church of Attracta) in Sligo and another in Roscommon. (Killaraght lies between Monasteraden and Boyle and today it is the site of one of the outlying churches in Gurteen parish). Attracta is co-patron, with St. Nathy, of the diocese of Achonry and her cult has been very strong and durable especially in the west of Ireland.

Her name was at one time very popular among Irish girls and is still to be found . She was credited with exceptional powers of curing the sick and her convents were famous for their hospitality and care of the poor. The strength of the veneration in which she had been held for fourteen centuries was illustrated by the Act of Pius IX in 1829 when he person- ally authorised the Mass of St. Attracta on her feast day in Achonry diocese. Her feast is on 12th August and there is still a ‘pattern’ at her well in Clogher, Monasteraden, on that day.

An account of St. Attracta’s life can be found in The Catholic Encyclopedeia.

(Also cf. The Saints and Martyrs of Ireland, H. Patrick Montague, Colin Smythe 1981.)

St. Attracta's Well
St. Attracta's Well
Rough carving at
St. Attracta's Well

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