St. Patrick Icon
April 6th 2013
Watercolor, Ink, GIMP
6 x 4.5 inches“I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through belief in the Threeness,
Through confession of the Oneness
of the Creator of creation.” ― St. Patrick
I know, this one is late, but I figured I might as well finish it. Better late than never, right? I had to work myself out of a bit of an artistic slump to get this one done. After Holy Week and with school and all I’ve felt most of my creative inspiration dry up. I want to try and get back on the wagon though and churn some more stuff out, even if I have to force myself to.
Anyway, St. Patrick:
The symbolism in this icon is fairly standard for St. Patrick. In his right hand he holds up the famous three-leafed clover, that, legend has it, he used to explain the Trinity to the Irish. He wears the pallium in his office as the first archbishop of Ireland, his miter has lots of celtic knot decorations on it, as does his crosier, which is a symbol of his role as shepherd of Ireland. In his left hand he holds up St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin, Ireland, as a symbol of his establishing the Church in Ireland. Sadly, after the Reformation made Catholicism illegal, all the churches were confiscated, and to this day the cathedral is not in Catholics hands, but it is still considered the main Catholic cathedral in Ireland’s capitol. A Brief Biography of St. Patrick: St. Patrick of Ireland (387 – 461 A.D.)
was born in Roman Britain at Bannaven Taburniae, and was the son of Calpurnius (a deacon) and his wife Conchessa. As he says himself he was not a very pious young man growing up, and one day when he was about 16, he was taken captive by pirates as with a great number of other people. He was sold as a slave in Ireland, and worked for his master as a shepherd. There, he began to turn to God in his exile. As he writes in his Confessions: "The love of God and his fear grew in me more and more, as did the faith, and my soul was roused, so that, in a single day, I have said as many as a hundred prayers and in the night, nearly the same. I prayed in the woods and on the mountain, even before dawn. I felt no hurt from the snow or ice or rain."
He was a slave for about four years when he heard a voice in a dream telling him to make his escape and that “his ship was ready” and that it was two hundred miles away. He found the ship as described in his dream, and after several years, many adventures involving his pagan sailing companions and being captured yet again, he managed to reach home at last. However, soon afterwards he had a dream in which (as he himself described it): “I saw a man whose name was Victoricus coming as if from Ireland with innumerable letters, and he gave me one of them, and I read the beginning of the letter: "The Voice of the Irish", and as I was reading the beginning of the letter I seemed at that moment to hear the voice of those who were beside the forest of Foclut which is near the western sea, and they were crying as if with one voice: "We beg you, holy youth, that you shall come and shall walk again among us." And I was stung intensely in my heart so that I could read no more, and thus I awoke.”
He studied for the priesthood, was ordained a bishop, and was sent to Ireland, and arrived there on the Feast of the Annunciation, March 25th, 433 at Slane. For the rest of his life he tirelessly preached the Gospel to the Irish, converting and baptizing thousands, founding monasteries and dioceses and churches, and ordaining priests and working many miracles. He endured countless trials, hazarded his life on numerous occasions, faced the violence of the elements, the envy of the Druids, the hostility of those who hated him and Christianity, chains and imprisonment and a whole host of other ills. He died at Downpatrick, Ireland on March 17th, 461 A.D."I cannot keep silent, nor would it be proper, so many favors and graces has the Lord deigned to bestow on me in the land of my captivity. For after chastisement from God, and recognizing Him, our way to repay Him is to exalt Him and confess His wonders before every nation under heaven." ~ Saint Patrick The Confessions of St. Patrick
The Confessions of St. Patrick: [link] God Our Almighty Father, you sent St. Patrick to preach your glory to the people of Ireland. By the help of his prayers, may all Christians proclaim your love to all men. Grant this through Our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, One God forever and ever.
O Great and Glorious Saint Patrick, Apostle to the Irish and most beloved patron of Ireland—the Isle of Saints, pray for us!
The Feast of St. Patrick is March 17th.