Holy Cross Abbey
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The Holy Cross Abbey in Tipperary is a restored Cistercian monastery from a substantial original structure.
It takes its name from a relic of the True Cross or Holy Rood.
The fragment of that Holy rood was brought to Ireland by the Plantagenet Queen, Isabella of Angouleme, around 1233.
She was the widow of King John and bestowed the relic on the original Cistercian Monastery in Thurles, which she then rebuilt, and which was thenceforth thereby named Holy Cross Abbey.
With time, Holy Cross Abbey and the sacred relic of the True Cross became a place of great medieval pilgrimage, and with the Reformation, also a rallying-point for the dispossessed and victims of religious persecution.
It served as a symbol and inspiration for the defence of the Catholic faith, resistance and the struggle for freedom.
The Holy Rood relic was last exposed for public veneration in 1632, and following the Cromellian war, Holy Cross Abbey fell into ruins.
Local people used the roofless ruins as a burial place after 1740.
It became a scheduled National Monument in 1880 with the notarization that it to be preserved and not used as a place of worship.
Special legislation in the Dail on its 50th anniversary, 21 January 1969, enabled Holy Cross Abbey to be restored as a place of Catholic worship, exceptionally for a national monument.
The Sacristan of St Peters Basilica in the Vatican provided an authenticated relic of the Holy Cross, and the emblem of the Jerusalem, or Crusader Cross, has been restored for the Abbey.
Today thousands of visitors descend on Holy Cross Abbey every year to view the wonderful restored structure, architectural features and stunning scenic location.
The Abbey has always been a most appealing and highly desired choice of location for couples to ask God’s blessing on their wedding day.
Regularly, two, and even three weddings per day are facilitated.
Couples wishing to reserve the abbey for their wedding are advised to book well in time.
It is not uncommon for weddings to be booked three years in advance.
The Annual Novena to Our Lady of Perpetual Help takes place on September 8th 16th every year and draws thousands of people