Write a comment
Pin It


Today is Candlemas Day, a day the Catholic Church marks 40 days after the birth of Christ when he was presented in the temple, and candles are blessed in Churches throughout the world

Anyway it reminded me of a strange happening many moons ago and only I was at the Dominican at 12.15 with Fr Ralph I wouldn't even have known today was Candlesmas Day.

Candlesmas Day

To give you the background, I was brought up ten miles from Newry at a place called Mavemacullen in the Parish of Loughgilly. Our incredible house is hundreds of years old and in family folklore it was known as 'The Priests House'

With the background out of the way, roll the clock forward to the 1980's and it's an ordinary Sunday morning and Columba's lying on to the very last second in bed.

Mum and Dad are waiting in the car to take us all to 11.30 Mass in Tullyherron and as usual I'm running late, (probably only in bed from 6 or 7 after a night out in Tivolis in Dundalk or suchlike). I get myself together and legging it down our stairs, at a turn in the stairs I got a distinct strong smell of snuffed out candles - even though no candles had been lit in the house since Christmas.

On telling my Dad, his explanation/ logic was that as it was Candlesmas Day (again it wouldn't have hit my radar!) and there were no blessed candles in the house, this was a reminder to get some! I remember coming home from Mass running up the stairs to check for the smell but it was gone.

In 1966 my Granny wrote a poem about our house mentioning a story told about her own Granny/ Great Granny over a hundred years earlier in 1844 -   "She it was who told of a day when they tumbled an old mud wall – and then at once they all stood silent until they understood the look in each other’s eyes and knew that all alike smelt incense."

Perhaps it all is coincidence, perhaps there is a logical explanation to it all. Who knows!

Anyway if anyone has any similar stories or unexplained happenings in your life/ family life would love to hear from you either via the comments here or by email to


Say something here...
or post as a guest
Loading comment... The comment will be refreshed after 00:00.

Be the first to comment.


Please consider supporting

Amount require Cookies on some parts of our site to enable full functionality. By using you consent to our use of Cookies. You can use your browser settings to disable cookies on this or any other website.