St. Patrick’s Day may have been and gone, but a church in Grevena, northern Greece, has been celebrating Ireland’s patron saint.
While revelers in Irish pubs in Athens, Thessaloniki and elsewhere painted the town green with Guinness, Celtic music and Ireland’s Six Nations rugby triumph over old enemies England, others stayed true to the day’s religious roots.
The Greek Orthodox congregation in Geneva celebrated the Welsh-born saint’s mission to bring the Gospels to the Irish, and an icon of the famous holy man was on display.
Patrick is usually thought of as a Latin figure but the officiating priest said “sainthood does not have national barriers”.
“Patrick is not Greek but he is a saint and a child of God,” he added
Although Patrick is usually associated with the Catholic Church — and also credited with banishing all of Ireland’s snakes — most believe the time of his birth marks him out as Orthodox also.
Patrick was born circa 385 AD and died 17 March 460/461 AD, putting him firmly in the unified Christian church which was divided by 1054’s Great Schism.