Icon of St. Patrick Commissioned to mark 150th Anniversary of St. Patrick’s Cathedral Armagh
A Reflection from Sr Angela and the writers of the icon at the Redemptoristine Community Drumcondra, Dublin:
St Patrick, Enlightener of Ireland, stands with his hand raised in the gesture of blessing. He holds the Cathedral of Armagh cradled in his arm in a gesture of protection, symbolic of his vocation as special intercessor for the people of Ireland and the Archdiocese of Armagh.
The Shamrock, distinctive sign associated with St Patrick, recalls the divine life and the Union of the Trinity into which we are called to participate. The lamb’s wool pallium, is a symbol of the service of authority – the yoke of Christ which is easy and its burden light.
Green is the colour of hope, newness of life. St Patrick brings the light of Christ to a people who dwelt in darkness (Isaiah 9:2). In iconography it often denotes where life begins. New life begins in Christ.
St Brigid is clothed in her monastic veil and cloak with a red mantle, the colour of love and vitality and sacrifice. She and St Malachy are pillars of faith and examples for those seeking to follow Christ. St Malachy’s blue robe denotes the mystic life, and recalls the visions and miracles attested to him.
In writing this icon, continuous prayer was offered for a renewal of faith in the hearts of the people of Ireland, that all our lives may be filled with the light of Christ. Prayers of thanksgiving were also offered for all those who are ‘light bearers’ and ‘enlighteners’ in our lives and for those who have been missionaries to us in any way. Praying before the icon helps to open our hearts and minds ever more to Christ, especially in deep gratitude for those who, like St Patrick, show us the way to Christ.