St Patrick’s Day as we know it is observed on 17th March, the supposed date of his death, as a celebration in Ireland and abroad of Irish heritage, culture and traditions. The day is marked in more countries than any other national festival and in 1903, St Patrick's Day became an official public holiday in Ireland.
St Patrick features in many stories in the Irish oral tradition. It is not possible to say with any assurance when Patrick was born however it is suggested he was originally named Maewyn Succat and was born in 387 AD either in Banna venta Berniae or Kilpatrick, Scotland, to the parents Calpernius and Condessa. Although his father was a deacon, Patrick was not a believer.
According to the ‘Confession of St Patrick’, Patrick was captured by a group of Irish pirates at the age of sixteen and was taken to Ireland and enslaved for six years. During his time in captivity, herding and tending sheep in Dalriada, he became fluent in the Irish language and culture. This time was very important to his spiritual development.
One day he heard a voice telling him he would soon go home. As a stowaway, he returned to his parents, but felt called by God to return to preach to the people of Ireland. Patrick spent several years studying before he felt ready to take up the life of a missionary. Upon his return, using his knowledge of Irish language and culture he brought Christianity to Ireland.
In later life, he served as a bishop. By the seventh century he had come to be revered as the patron saint of Ireland and as a legendary figure. One such legend is that he drove the snakes of Ireland into the sea to their destruction, another is that of the shamrock where he used the three leafed plant with one stalk to introduce the concept of the Holy Trinity to a non-believer. Thus leading to the tradition of wearing shamrocks, the national flower of Ireland in a lapel on St Patrick's Day.
At Berganza we are celebrating the beautiful Emerald Isle with a display of rare natural emeralds with no colour enhancement.
Please note: Berganza will be closing for the Easter holiday from 5pm on Thursday 29th March and will re-open at 10am on Saturday 7th April.