An academic symposium to honour Ireland’s national saint will take place in Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth tomorrow on Patron’s Day, 12 March. The inaugural symposium, part of the Maynooth 225 anniversary celebrations, will provide a platform for reflection and discussion so as to retrieve and restore the authentic Saint Patrick.

Speaking ahead of the symposium, Rev. Professor Michael Mullaney, President of Saint Patrick’s College said, “Saint Patrick’s Day celebrations both at home and abroad have increasingly become a parody of Ireland’s patron saint. Nowadays, Patrick has been lost among the ‘sham-rockery’ of festivals and floats and relegated to being a mascot for parades.”

Thomas O’Loughlin, Professor of Historical Theology at the University of Nottingham, who is an expert in Celtic Christianity, will deliver the keynote address: “An embarrassing situation – Did 9th century theologians seek to sanitise Patrick’s Confessio?”

In conclusion, Father Mullaney said, “Saint Patrick’s College’s mission is to prepare priests and lay pastoral leaders to keep the fire of faith, lit by Patrick on the Hill of Slane still burning brightly. In this sense the College is the custodian of the mission of Patrick, a gift and responsibility it treasures and wishes to share.”

ENDS