Peaceful Penmon Priory Inspires a Deepening Faith

by David McDermott
(Liverpool)

Deepening Faith at Penmon Priory

Deepening Faith at Penmon Priory

I first visited Penmon Priory on Anglesey during a period of stress and uncertainty in 2006, and now as I look back in 2012 that visit was to lead to peace, healing, inspiration and a deepening faith.


My uncle who was unmarried, lived with his spinster sister, in 2006 she was then 100 years old. He died in September 2006 leaving her determined not to go into a home.

After my uncle's funeral I went with my sister and brother-in-law to Anglesey that we all knew well. While I was there my mind was in turmoil over the issue of the care of my aunt.

While we were in Anglesey we chanced upon Penmon Priory. We discovered St. Seriol's Holy well. I dipped my hand in the crystal clear cool water and made the sign of the cross on my forehead. We sat for a while on stone seats in the small building that encloses the well.

We walked the short distance to the church and I was pleased to see that the church dating from the 12th Century still has an active congregation and is open to the public.

When we entered the the church we all remarked about the beauty and sense of peace in the church. I felt it especially in the room where you could leave prayer requests and light candles.

As I sat near the back of the church, absorbing the sense of peace, I was struck by the most beautiful stained glass window to my left.

It depicts our Lord Jesus in the boat on the Sea of Galilee with his faithful disciples around him. Our Lord's hand is raised and there are the words, "Peace Be Still" beside him. St. Seriol, the founder of the 6th Century monastery at Penmon is also depicted beneath looking up to our Lord.

After the visit to the Priory I began to contemplate the words of our Lord, "Peace Be Still."

During the rest of the visit my mind went from turmoil and waking in the night to a sense of peace. I thought about letting go of my own thoughts and fears, imagining the storm of my mind being calmed by our Lord to a millpond of peace.

When I returned home I felt guided to leave my own agenda to go and care for my aunt. During the care of my aunt I was able to sometimes go for an afternoon walk in a large beautiful park nearby.

During those walks I felt inspired to write a prayer, "Peace Be Still," based on my experience of the visit to the Holy Well and the Priory church at Penmon.

After my aunt's death at the age of almost 102, I was inspired to write more prayers on the trials and tribulations of life, the Holy Spirit and others based on the Psalms into an eBook which I titled "Peace Be Still."

My period of anquish and turmoil has turned into peace, healing and deepening faith.

I hope after reading this you, I hope, will become another pilgrim to join those down the centuries and visit the church and take the "healing waters" of the Holy well.

I pray that whatever trial or tribulation you are experiencing you will find peace and healing through your visit.

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Photo provided by Girishav, Bangalore, Karnataka, India

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