The feast day of St Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, is observed across the world on the 17th day of March each year. This year the occasion has been particularly special for St Patrick’s Technical College with their patron saint honoured with the unveiling of a St Patrick’s wall.
Father Pat Woods, from Elizabeth Catholic Parish, led a small liturgy at the Edinburgh North college and closed the ceremony with a blessing of the wall.
St Patrick’s story is surrounded by many myths and legends, but a common message is that St Patrick was a person of great compassion and amazing courage. His strength and courage for others are characteristics that can be called upon by students and staff to recognise in themselves.
With the preceding imagery around the College of St Patrick largely portrayed in traditional style, teacher and college Chaplain Mr John Neate recognised the importance of having St Patrick characterised in various styles and contemporary depictions to engage students.
“With almost thirty different images of St Patrick on our new wall, the hope is that as students pass the central corridor each day, they will be drawn to a particular image which may then help them better connect to St Patrick,” John said.
The idea for the wall materialised from College staff who began exploring ways to make St Patrick more accessible and relatable to students. An extensive internet search led to the discovery of a whole range of artistic impressions of the saint. From this came the idea to gather all the images in one place and St Patrick’s wall was born.
“The images are diverse in size and nature and some much more contemporary representations,” John said.
“Some show Patrick towards the end of his life, while others show him as the young teenager who first travelled to Ireland.
“One image has Patrick as a young person complete with a hairstyle that could belong to anyone of the College’s current students.
“Another striking image portrays Patrick with no face and invites the onlooker to finish the picture.”
Each image with a unique artistic impression and a diverse representation in both size and nature brings with it pertinency, deliberation and inherent meaning for all at St Patrick’s Technical College.