In Bahá'í, Christianity, Island of Saints and Scholars, Lá Fhéile Pádraig, News, St. Patrick's Day, Uncategorized

 

Louth Monasterboise cross

Lá Fhéile Pádraig – or Saint Patrick’s Day – commemorates not only the person of Saint Patrick but also the arrival of Christianity in Ireland.

In The Genius of Ireland George Townshend, the first Irish Bahá’í, described these early days of Christianity in Ireland thus,

“During the sixth, seventh and eight centuries, and later, she (Ireland) played an illustrious part in the propagation of Christianity in Europe, and won for herself the undying title of the Island of Saints and Scholars…That service was  intellectual and spiritual.  It made Irish history during the sixth, seventh and eight centuries a conspicuous part of religious European history…

The chief features of that age of light are well known.  From many parts of Europe students thronged into Ireland to sit at the feet of Irish Professors and Divines, and Irish teachers travelled over sea and land to bring the gift of heavenly and earthly knowledge to yet unilluminated regions of Britain and the Continent.  The three patron saints of Ireland, St. Patrick, St. Bridget and Columcille, founded schools at Armagh, Kildare and in Iona.  Hundreds followed their example. Shrines of devotion and of learning were established in every part of the island…Iniscaltra became so famous for its school and monastery that an old record recounts how on one day there entered the mouth of the Shannon seven ships full of students from foreign parts, bound for that little island on Lough Derg.”

Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig oraibh

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(Photographs courtesy of Earl Redman)

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