Friday, October 29, 2010

The Saint Patrick Centre

Today we took the opportunity to learn about Ireland's Patron Saint, Patrick. In the town of Downpatrick there is an exhibition that takes you through each stage of the saint's life. There were amazing works of art as well as modern techniques of displaying the information that kept the kids' interests through the whole tour. At each station there was a button to push to start the reenactment of Saint Patrick's life and hands on activities to explore more of who this man became to be after many hardships. The kids were given clip boards with pens and had to answer questions along the way which they thought was a very grown-up thing to do. Gabe wondered if he could keep his clip board.
A statue depicting Patrick at the age of 15 being captured by the Irish from his home in Britain.

Patrick was a slave to the Irishmen for six years, tending sheep in the hills and this was the time of his spiritual awakening. He was visited by an angel and told to escape with some sailors. Patrick escapes and travels with these sailors through a foreign land where they were rescued from starvation after Patrick prays to God asking for food. A little while later they came across a herd of pigs and were saved.
After years back in his home land he hears God's call for him to go back to Ireland to bring the gospel. He obeys but with much condemnation by his peers.

We ended the tour with a IMAX presentation on the influence of Saint Patrick on the rest of Ireland. Next, we traveled to Down Cathedral where the Saint is said to be buried.

The actual burial place of Saint Patrick is said to be under the church but no one really knows for sure. This stone was placed in the graveyard in the 19th century as a memorial to the fact that his burial place is on that hill.
Inside Down Cathedral. This location has been a place of Christian prayer and worship since the fifth century. We found the sanctuary intriguing as it includes unique boxpews and a Bishop's throne in the middle of the worship area which faces the Judges' Box. This is to serve as a reminder that there once were legal trials carried on in the cathedral. There are also stalls for the members of the Cathedral Chapter (kind of like box seats at a game). They sat higher than the rest of the congregation.
A Theologian in the making????
A preacher in the making????

I am overwhelmed with gratitude with the experiences our family has been given by our great Father. To hear Saint Patrick's story inspires and draws me deeper into the love of our Triune Creator. I was blessed today.


  1. Hi Iva, I'm back home now and finally got a chance to catch up on your blog. It is so good to see the kiddos. I enjoyed your recent postings so much.(as always) It makes me want to come tomorrow. Looking forward to March. LOVE you all, HUGS, Lynne

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