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Saint of March - St Patrick

Saint Patrick is the Patron Saint of Ireland. At the age of 16 he was captured by Irish raiders from his home in Britain (probably in Cumbria) and taken to Ireland. While enslaved, he worked as a shepherd and strengthened his relationship with God through prayer. After six years in slavery, he escaped and returned to his family. Following a vision, Saint Patrick later returned to spread Christianity in Ireland where he baptised many converts, ordained priests and inspired female converts to enter the religious life. He became the first Bishop of Armagh and Primate of Ireland.

He is said to have fasted for 40 days on the mountain at Croagh Patrick (Cruach Padraig). The site now attracts many pilgrims, particularly on the last Sunday in July. His body is said to be buried in Down Cathedral in Downpatrick, County Down. Legend credits St Patrick with banishing snakes from Ireland and teaching his listeners about the Holy Trinity by showing them a shamrock. His feast day is celebrated on 17 March.

Written by Paul Cavadino

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