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Photographer's Note

today is st. patricks day, in commemoration of patrick, patron saint of ireland.

he was captured from britain and taken as a slave to ireland, where he lived for six years before escaping and returning to his family. he then entered the church, and returned to ireland as an ordained priest to minister to the few christians already living there and to begin to convert the irish.

instead of attempting to eradicate native irish beliefs he chose to incorporate traditional irish ritual into his christianity. the creation of the ‘celtic cross’ is an example of this. he superimposed a sun, a powerful irish symbol, onto the christian cross to create what is now called a ‘celtic cross’, to make the symbol more natural to the irish.

st. patrick is said to be buried at down cathedral in downpatrick, county down. by the seventh century, he had come to be revered as the patron saint of ireland.

this picture is of the old church at ballintoy, on the county antrim coast, overlooking the atlantic ocean. the church as it now stands was completed in the year 1813, and is a replacement for an older structure which stood on the same site. in 1894 a hurricane caused the steeple to be removed. it was never replaced, and today gives the church its distinctive look.

my first picture posted on Trekearth entitled 'ballintoy coast' is also a view of this church, but taken from much further away, which puts its position by the ocean into context.

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BMcC

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