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Video Reviews: St. Patrick - Apostle of Ireland
by Bridget Haggerty

While we cannot make a personal recommendation, we thought that readers might appreciate us doing a little legwork to see what's available. Here's what we found:

St. Patrick - Apostle of Ireland

Directed by Dave Tennant and filmed entirely on location in Ireland, this 46-minute documentary blends the story of the saint with commentary from Father Frank Fahey of Ballintubber Abbey and Michael Slaven, author of "The Book of Tara." Interspersed are black and white flashbacks featuring Patrick's own words as his story unfolds - from his birth to his capture and enslavement in Ireland, and then, ultimately, to his almost single-handed conversion of the pagan Irish to Christianity. In the opinion of one very satisfied viewer, the program is "informative, engaging and inspiring."

St. Patrick: The Irish Legend

This made for television movie stars Patrick Bergen as St. Patrick and Malcolm McDowell as one of the saint's many antagonists. According to the reviews, it's not 100% accurate, but this doesn't detract from the primary focus of the movie which is to portray the devotion of the saint and his love for the Irish people.

The story begins with Patrick as a young man and continues with his capture by Irish pirates. We follow his journey to Ireland where he is sold as a slave. The following is a review from a viewer: "From his abduction as a teenager and enslavement by Irish marauders to his conversion on the solitary windswept hills of Ireland while tending his master's sheep, Saint Patrick is a shining example of what God can do in the life of a single soul. Through his intense and mystical prayer life, Saint Patrick is instructed on how to escape his captors to return home to England. Upon his return to England, Saint Patrick perceives in a vision the "Voice of the Irish" and is instructed to return to preach the Gospel to those who once held him captive. It is many more years before the Saint is able to return to Ireland, but in a serious of miraculous events he is called back to Ireland to shepherd a pagan people to God."

In general, reviewers are very positive and most agree that the movie does an excellent job of educating us as to the truth behind the legends and the myths that surround the life of Ireland's favorite saint. If you celebrate St. Patrick's Day and never really knew who he was, this appears to be a good candidate for adding to our knowledge and enlightenment.

Interested in finding out more about either video? Please click here:
St. Patrick, Apostle of Ireland
St. Patrick, The Irish Legend


Fri, Nov 3, 2017

The Round Towers

The Round Towers of Ireland are remarkable among the world's ancient monuments; one author has called them 'Elegant, free-standing pencils of stone.' Today, 65 survive in part or whole. Hand-crafted in native stone and cemented with a sand, lime, horsehair and oxblood mortar - a technique imported from Roman Britain - it's said by many historians that they were built by monastic communities to thwart Viking invaders. And yet, there's reason to believe that the towers were built long before Christianity came to Ireland. Whatever their origins, monasteries did indeed flourish where the round towers existed. And why not. These imposing edifices provided a watch tower, a keep and a refuge.
Image: By kind permission of Stephen Cassidy, The Cassidy Clan.

Click for More Culture Corner.

Gardens of Ireland
Visit 30 of Ireland's most beautiful gardens. Includes a stunning collection of 200 full-color photos.


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