St Patricks Day
St. Patrick was an ordinary man who did extraordinary things in Ireland
The Story of Saint Patrick
Born in Wales to wealthy parents at the end of the 4th century, at the tender age of 16, young Patrick was taken prisoner by a group of Irish raiders and whisked across the Irish Sea, where he spent the next six years in captivity working as a lonely shepherd. His religion was his solace, and so he became a devout Christian.
So how did he manage to convert the Irish to Christianity?
After six years, Patrick heard God’s voice telling him it was time to leave Ireland, so he escaped from his captors and made his way back home. Here, he had another vision from an angel who told him he should go back to preach Christianity to the Irish. After 14 years studying to be a priest, Patrick returned to Ireland where he built churches and spread the Christian faith for the next 30 years until his death on March 17th, 460AD.
Is it possible to visit St. Patrick’s graveside?
St. Patrick is said to be buried in Down Cathedral in Downpatrick, County Down, Northern Ireland. Since his death, March 17th has become the day set aside for spiritual renewal and offering prayers for missionaries worldwide. A must-see for travelers, The Saint Patrick Centre in Downpatrick, County Down is an award-winning visitor center dedicated to telling the story of St Patrick, and explores the full truth behind his amazing Christian legacy using interactive exhibitions and Imax presentations.
And here’s something you mightn’t know
Down Cathedral was built on the ancient hill of Down in the 12th Century, and has been a place of pilgrimage for over 1500 years. People from across the globe travel to Down Cathedral to leave wreaths on the massive granite stone that marks St Patrick’s Grave. Traditionally, emigrants leaving Ireland took a handful of the ‘old sod’ with them from the grave to remind them of Ireland. Pretty poignant stuff.