Multifarnham Friary

The Multyfarnham Friary is a Franciscan friary located in Multyfarnham, County Westmeath, Ireland. It dates to the 15th century.

During the early 17th century, the friary served as a refuge for elderly and infirm friars and priests who were fleeing persecution in the wake of the English Reformation.[1]

The friary had fallen into ruin by the 19th century, but the Franciscans reoccupied it in 1827. They re-used the nave, south transept and tower of the original friary in the construction of a new church.[2]

The Multyfarnham Abbey is dedicated to Mary, Mother of God, whose feast is on January 1st, and to St. Francis of Assisi, who is honoured on October 4th. Enter by the West Doorway, sprinkle yourself with holy water, for the ground you stand on is holy ground. The heavy, majestic doors are Irish oak, oak from the woods around Muine Bheag, Co. Carlow and the finished product is the workmanship of skilled trandesmen of Mohill Co. Leitrim. The first friars came to Multyfarnham around 1270 at the invitation of the Delamar family(soldier protectors) and is presumed that their patron would have provided them, shortly after that date, with a church and residence worthy of its piety and position. "Oh House of Friars, lonely dost thou stand, and few there are that cross thy threshold now, Who once had faithful friends at thy command. Why should destruction fall on such as thou?" . . . But the friars did return. They were hard, unsettled and dangerous times from 1613 to 1648. Friars were arrested, thrown in prison, left to die or deported to other continents. There was toleration between 1625-1641 when the clergy and Catholic nobility met there and had vigorous Franciscan activity. And the temple was reconstructed in A.D. 1827. "To the Almighty and Powerful God. In honour and under the patronage of the holy Virgin Mother Mary and St. Francis. This temple was reconstructed A.D. 1827." From Studio Printers, Athboy Co. Meath.

See also


  1. DeBreffny, Brian & Mott, George (1976). The Churches and Abbeys of Ireland. Thames & Hudson. pp. 113. ISBN 0-500-24096-5. 
  2. DeBreffny, Brian & Mott, George (1976). The Churches and Abbeys of Ireland. Thames & Hudson. pp. 151. ISBN 0-500-24096-5. 

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