St Patrick’s Day – Patron Saint of Ireland

Posted on: March 15, 2017

st patrick snakes
St Patrick banishes the snakes out of Ireland!

St Patrick (Maewyn Succat) was born second half of 4th century, most likely in Scotland or Wales.  He is known as the ‘Apostle of Ireland’, our primary patron saint of Ireland along with St Bridgid of Kildare.  Early medieval tradition credits him with being the first bishop of Armagh and Primate of Ireland and the founder of Christianity in Ireland.

According to records, when he was 16, he was captured by Irish pirates from his home in Britain and taken as a slave to Ireland.  He escaped and returned to his family.

He became a cleric and dreamed that the Irish were calling him back to tell them about God.  For 20 years he travelled the length and breadth of the island, baptising people and establishing monasteries, schools and churches as he went.

17th March

Records tells us he died on 17th March and he left behind an organised church and island of Christians.  Today St Patrick’s Day is celebrated worldwide as a religious and cultural holiday.  He is believed to be buried in Downpatrick, Co Down or Armagh.

Shamrock

st pat hat and gold Shamrock
St Patrick’s Day

Legend tells us that St Patrick used the shamrock, a three leafed plant to explain the Holy Trinity – Christian teaching of three persons in one God.  It is our symbol for St Patrick’s Day.

Snakes

Legend also tells us that St Patrick fasted for 40 days on top of a hill and banished the snakes in Ireland by chasing them into the sea – we still have no snakes in Ireland!

Croagh Patrick, Co Mayo

Legend tells us that it was on this mountain that St Patrick fasted – today thousands of pilgrims make the trek to the top of the mountain (764 meters high)

Lough Derg (red), Co Donegal

It is claimed that Patrick killed a large serpent on this lake and its blood turn the water red, hence its name.  Pilgrims spend three days fasting and praying on Station Island.

st pat parade
St Patrick’s Day Parade!

 

 

 

St Patrick’s Day Parades in Donegal

Ardara 3.30pm

Ballyshannon 2pm

Ballybofey & Stranorlar 3pm

Buncrana 2.30pm

Bundoran 3pm

Burtonport 2pm

Donegal Town 3pm

Downings 4.30pm

Dungloe 3pm

Glenties 12 noon

Killybegs 3pm

Letterkenny 3pm

Mevagh 3pm

Moville 2.30pm