Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Erin Go Bragh...a Visit with Saint Patrick!

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!
Welcome to Ireland
A few years ago, my daughter Sascha and I took a trip to Ireland with the Daughters of Utah Pioneers.  We went there to discover our Irish heritage.  It was an amazingly beautiful place...I couldn't believe how beautiful!

How Green is Ireland?
This is on the West Coast on top of the Cliffs of Moher...the Cliffs of Insanity featured on "The Princess Bride." 

There is a reason I fell in love with this postcard...

I saw this on the front stoop of a small shop...my first glimpse of shamrocks.

Saint Patrick...
Saint Patrick...
Patrick was a North Briton who was captured by a party of raiding Irishmen and brought to Ireland as a slave.  During his time in slavery he spent much time in prayer...praying as often as 100 times a day.  He tells in his "Confession" that he was able to escape after six years of slavery and hardship.  He boarded a ship and was soon reunited with his family.  One night he dreamed that a man named Victoricus handed him a letter headed "The Cry of the Irish."  He imagined that he heard voices calling him to return to Ireland and walk again among the people.

The Village of Downpatrick in County Down, Northern Ireland.
"Downpatrick" is from the Gaelic "Dun Padraig" which means Patrick's Stronghold or Fort.

In Downpatrick, at the base of the hill where the Down Cathedral is located, we visited the Saint Patrick Center.  In the center...interactive displays and diaramas with life-like human figures tell the story of Saint Patrick.  I was very impressed with the presentation...which made Patrick seem like a real person who did heroic things, rather than some otherworldly superhero.

Down Cathedral...Burial Place of St. Patrick

St. Patrick is believed to have died on March 17, around 460 A.D.  Muirchu...a biographer of St. Patrick...wrote this about the burial site:  "Let two untamed oxen be chosen and let them go wherever they will with the cart that carries your body and wherever they stand still, there a church in honour of your body shall be erected...untamed oxen were chosen and they steadily drew the cart containing the holy body placed on their necks and guided by the will of God, they went out to Dun Lethglaisse (Down) where Patrick lies buried."

Saint Patrick's Stone...a slab of granite from the Mourne Mountains.
Barely visible is one word...Patrick.

This plaque states that St. Brigid and St. Columba were reinterred there as well by John de Courcy in the 12th Century...fulfilling a prophecy that the three saints would be buried in the same place.

View of Downpatrick from the Cathedral

I hope you enjoyed this little visit with St. Patrick...I don't know why I never thought to write about this sooner.

Erin Go Bragh!
Some Pretty Travel Posters for a Vintage Irish Vacation!


Musings from Kim K. said...

Thank you for sharing your knowledge and wonderful images. I really had never taken the time to investigate the history surrounding St. Patrick. Your trip sounds wonderful. Thank you again for all my special Irish treasures.

Pam~ Virginia Retro said...

Such an enjoyable post Shirley! I've always wanted to visit Ireland, hope to one day, but almost feel as though I have after reading your post. You had me at the shamrocks in the shoes, LOL!

~Damita's Pretty Wrap~ said...

Such a neat and knowledgeable post!! Thank you for sharing!! Such great pictures and love the one with those shoes and shamrocks!! :) I've always thought visiting Ireland would be soo cool!! Maybe one day... xo Holly