Photographer's Note

Tomorrow, March 17th is St Patrick's day which has become a celebration in many parts of the world.
For the occasion, I have dug an old scan from my archives.
That year, we were celebrating the 20th anniversary of the twinning between Plougastel, Brittany, France and Westport, County Mayo Ireland. The French delegation had gone to Westport for the occasion.
When people visit Westport, it's usual to make a "pilgrimage" to Croagh Patrick situated about 8 km west of Westport, and climb the 764m from sea-level down in Clew Bay to the top.
We did it as a group in a generally happy go-lucky atmosphere, but this guy on the picture took it more seriously and really acted as a pilgrim, praying and meditating all along.

St Patrick, the patron Saint of Ireland, lived in the 5th century. He was born in Cumbria, Britain, of Romano-Britton descent ("Patrick" comes from the Latin word "Patrician", meaning Noble, "Patrician" being itself derived from "Pater" meaning "father".)
At the age of 16, he was made prisoner by Irish pirates, during which time he converted to Christianity. After 6 years, he escaped, went back to his family, but then travelled to French monasteries, and eventually came back to Ireland as a bishop.
He spent 40 days fasting on This mountain, which then became the Sacred Mountain of Ireland.
At the end of his fast, the legend says he threw a bell down into the valley and got rid of all the snakes on the island, the snakes representing Evil of course.
He also explained the Holy Trinity with the help of the three-leaved special clover of Ireland, called the SHAMROCK. That's why this little plant is the symbol of the country.

More information about Croagh Patrick HERE , and a a video about climbing the mountain HERE .

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Additional Photos by MarieLouise Davies (maloutim) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2235 W: 347 N: 3997] (13399)
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