Patron Saints deserve a very special celebration and where better to be on St. Patrick's day than in Ireland? While the world may celebrate the feast of St. Patrick, there's only one truly green corner of the globe and there are so many highlights to Dublin's St. Patrick's Festival, it takes almost a week to fit them all in! There are street parties, exhibitions, a fairytale funfair, a Ceili, the awesome Skyfest fireworks display, a treasure hunt and of course, the world famous parade. Face painters, fire eaters, street performers and outdoor concerts make up the spectacular program which will really guarantee you have the time of your life. For further details log on to:

Saint Patrick's Day (March 17th) is an Irish holiday honoring Saint Patrick, the missionary credited with converting the Irish to Christianity (in A.D. 400). Saint Patrick was not actually Irish. Historical sources report that he was born around 373 A.D. in either Scotland or in Roman Britain. His real name is believed to have been Maewyn Succat. He was kidnapped at the age of 16 by pirates and sold into slavery in Ireland. During his 6-year captivity, he began to have religious visions, and found strength and in his faith. He finally escaped and went to France, where he became a priest and later a bishop.  

Saint Patrick, the Apostle of the Irish, was seized from his native Britain by Irish marauders when he was sixteen years old. Though the son of a deacon and a grandson of a priest, it was not until his captivity that he sought out the Lord with his whole heart. In his Confession, the testament he wrote towards the end of his life, he says, "After I came to Ireland - every day I had to tend sheep, ...and many times a day I prayed - the love of God and His fear came to me more and more, and my faith was strengthened. And my spirit was so moved that in a single day I would say as many as a hundred prayers, and almost as many at night, and this even when I was staying in the woods and on the mountain; and I would rise for prayer before daylight, through snow, through frost, through rain, and I felt no harm." After six years of slavery in Ireland, he was guided by God to make his escape, and afterwards struggled in the monastic life at Auxerre in Gaul, under the guidance of the holy Bishop Germanus. Many years later he was ordained bishop and sent to Ireland once again, about the year 432, to convert the Irish to Christ. His arduous labours bore so much fruit that within seven years, three bishops were sent from Gaul to help him shepherd his flock, "my brethren and sons whom I have baptized in the Lord - so many thousands of people," he says in his Confession. His apostolic work was not accomplished without much "weariness and painfulness," long journeys through difficult country, and many perils; he says his very life was in danger twelve times. When he came to Ireland as its enlightener, it was a pagan country; when he ended his earthly life some thirty years later, about 461, the Faith of Christ was established in every corner.