Faith Matters

Five ways to mark St Patrick's Day in Armagh and Down

Two young girls praying at St Patrick's monument in Saul, Co Down, a place of pilgrimage on the Saint's feast day. Picture by Bill Smyth.

1. St Patrick's Vigil - starts at the Church of Ireland Cathedral in Armagh at 9pm today

This event will provide a unique and symbolic experience to celebrate community and unity as visitors meet at Armagh's Church of Ireland Cathedral for prayer led by Archbishop Richard Clarke.

He will then guide the congregation via torchlight to the Catholic Cathedral to be welcomed by Archbishop Eamon Martin in this reflection of St Patrick's own journey to unite the Irish people.

2. Pilgrimage Prayer Walk - St Patrick's Church of Ireland, Saul at 10am tomorrow

A 45 minute pilgrimage walk to start St Patrick's Day, starting from St Patrick's Church of Ireland church in Saul and ending at Down Cathedral in Downpatrick.

3. Historical Coach Tour - departs from Down County Museum between 1.30pm and 4.30pm tomorrow

This historical coach tour is led by local historian Albert Comer and visits many of the places traditionally associated with St Patrick. Tea and coffee will be served en route.

4. Shamrock Steam Trains - Downpatrick and County Down Railway between 12pm and 5pm tomorrow

Ride from Inch Abbey to Downpatrick town centre. Visit the 12th Century ruins linked to St Patrick.

5. Walk the Emania Way - Market Place Theatre, Armagh, at 12.30pm on Sunday March 19

Experience walking part of the ancient road to Emania. View the ancient St Patrick's Well, walk in the steps of Cuchalain and the Red Branch Knights, visit the Old Callan Bridge. Learn about the different Saints associated with Armagh and much more. Pre-booking essential through www.saintpatrickscountry.com.

:: For more information on these events and others taking place across counties Armagh and Down as part of the Home of Saint Patrick Festival, visit www.saintpatrickscountry.com.

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