Dana Rosemary Scallon leads pilgrimage following in the footsteps of St Patrick, where she describes him as saint for today
The Derry-born Eurovision winner, who launched her new single Light the Fire at the centre earlier this year, led the pilgrimage along the way with guides Martina Purdy and Elaine Kelly.
Ms Purdy, a former BBC NI political journalist and Ms Kelly, a former lawyer, gave up their careers in 2014 to become nuns.
The pair moved to Co Down after leaving the Adoration Sisters convent in 2019 before taking final vows.
Dana said she was drawn to walk in St Patrick’s footsteps because she feels "it would be a way to get to know him better...a way to deepen my faith and increase my courage, so that like him, I can stand for and share the faith, hope and love that I believe in".
Read more: Christianity in Ireland before Patrick
She added: "I’ve learned that he is truly a saint for today; he suffered human trafficking, lived in abject poverty in a pagan country, where human sacrifice was practised.
"Yet in this suffering, he found a true relationship with God and after escaping, he found the courage to return and risk his own life to bring faith, hope and love to the oppressed people of Ireland.”
Pilgrim guide Martina Purdy, describing the draw Patrick as universal, added: "Whether somee come for faith, or an adventure, while others come for a walk in the beauty of County Down, all go home refreshed and more aware of who Patrick was.”
Organiser Elaine Kelly added: “This past year we have had pilgrims not just from Ireland and the UK but from as far away as the United States and Korea."