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Spirit of St Patrick

“Some fifteen hundred years ago the man who became known as St Patrick worked as a Christian missionary in Pagan Ireland. Although there are numerous accounts of his early life, it is believed that at age 16 he was brought to Ireland as a slave. He arrived in County Mayo and was sold to an Antrim farmer for whom he tended sheep for six years. Patrick eventually escaped back to Britain where he began his religious studies.

In 432 he decided to return to Ireland as a missionary. One of his first converts was a local Gaelic Chieftain who gave him a barn in which to hold his services. Over the next thirty years, Patrick converted Pagan Irish to Christianity. The legends of his works and miracles spread across Ireland. He made famous the shamrock, which he used to illustrate the mystery of the Holy Trinity.

Perhaps the greatest legacy of St Patrick is the marriage of Christianity to Gaelic culture, which gave life to the Irish spirit.

Patrick died in 461. It was for his missionary work and the spiritual inspiration he left behind that he became the Patron Saint of Ireland.”

St Patrick
St Patrick’s Festival Trust
PO Box 38 689
Howick, Auckland
New Zealand 2145
03 377 6191
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