St. Dominic’s Well – Blessing: Friday Jan 5th, Saturday Jan 6th, 2018

St. Dominic's Hill, Esker - a late-December morn

The annual blessing of St. Dominic’s Well here at Esker will take place this Friday, January 5th, after the 11am Mass and the Procession over to the Well.

The blessing will take place again on Saturday January 6th, Feast of the Epiphany of Our Lord, after the 11am Mass and the Procession to the Well.

All are Welcome! Please pass the word to friends.


This  goes back well into the 1800′s and possibly to the coming of the Dominican Friars to Esker in the early 1700′s. Nobody quite knows the origin of this event. The blessed waters are taken home to farms all over the West, where people sprinkle their lands and their farm animals, invoking God’s protection on all livestock.

One local tradition (or legend) that was here in Esker when the Redemptorists came here in 1901, tells of how, somewhere in the 1600′s when the Dominicans had to flee from their Abbey in Athenry, they left their pet dog behind them.  The following day, – or so the story goes – the dog arrived out and found the Dominicans hiding nearby, and the dog had in its mouth the ritual or Book of Blessings, opened at the page for the blessing of wells! It is said that the Dominicans then decided that this was a sign to them to invoke God’s blessing on the local well, at the foot of Dominic’s Hill.

Whatever the origin, the custom still holds and many people come during those days around January 5th and 6th, to collect water from the well and bring it home to their farms and livestock. The water reminds us to give thanks for the blessing of land everywhere, and of the animals that God has given to us for our well-being and theirs. We continue to care for all of creation around us and within us, and to care for Planet Earth, our common home.


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