Monday, 13 March, 2017
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Get your green credentials and impress friends and distant relatives this 17th of March with our quick guide to St Patrick.

Climbing Croagh Patrick on Reek Sunday

Picture above: Climbing Croagh Patrick on Reek Sunday. Picture courtesy of the Irish Photo Archives

Fact #1:

As a teenager, St. Patrick was brought from Wales to work as a slave - herding sheep on the Slemish Mountain, Co. Antrim.  He spent 6 hard years here.

Slemish Mountain County Antrim © Tourism Ireland

Fact #2: 

After escaping slavery, St. Patrick was called back to Ireland in a dream and upon his return began converting pagans.  One convert donated a barn for him to hold his services.  This is now known as Saul Church, Co. Down.

Saul Church County Down © Tourism Ireland

Factish #3:  

There are two tales regarding St. Patrick and Lough Derg, Co. Donegal.  One sees him hunting the last snake from Ireland and turning the lake red with its blood,  the other has Christ revealing the entrance to Hell to Patrick in a cave.

Lough Derg Ireland St Patrick

Factish #4: 

In defiance of the Druids celebrating a pagan feast on the Hill of Tara, Co. Meath, St. Patrick lit an unquenchable paschal fire on the neighbouring Hill of Slane and performed feats and miracles to prove the Christian God was more powerful.

Hill of Tara County Meath

Fact #5: 

The Rock of Cashel, Co. Tipperary is where St. Patrick baptised Aenghus, the King of Munster.  This marked the end of paganism and is one of the most important heritage sites in Ireland.

Rock of Cashel Ireland

Fact #6: 

It was on Croagh Patrick, Co. Mayo that St. Patrick fasted for 40 days during Lent.  There is an annual pilgrimage up the mountain on Reek Sunday -  the last Sunday in July.

Croagh Patrick County Mayo Ireland

Fact #7: 

The mortal remains of St. Patrick were buried at Down Cathedral, Co. Down after his death in 461AD.  This cathedral is now a place of pilgrimage and prayer.

Down Cathedral, County Down

Fact #8: 

St. Patrick Centre, Co. Down in the only exhibition in the world devoted to the saint.  There are interactive displays and collections of art and intricate metalwork from the Early Christian period.

St Patricks Centre in County Down Ireland

Fact #9: 

Armagh city is home to two cathedrals named after the saint.  The Church of Ireland cathedral is on a site that housed a church St. Patrick built while the Roman Catholic cathedral has roots in medieval times.

Saint Patrick's Cathedral in Armagh, Ireland

All photos © Tourism Ireland