Cross Strangford Lough by ferry to visit the St. Patrick Centre and the saint’s grave at Down Cathedral.
Down Cathedral is a Church of Ireland cathedral. It stands on the site of a Benedictine Monastery, built in 1183. Saint Patrick's remains are buried in the graveyard. Magnificent stain glass windows, box pews and beautiful organ case enhances this interesting building.
About Saint Patrick:
He is said to have been born Maewyn Succat (Latin: Magonus Succetus) and was a Roman Britain-born Christian missionary and is the patron saint of Ireland along with Brigid of Kildare and Columba. When he was about sixteen he was captured by Irish raiders from his home in Scotland and taken as a slave to Ireland, where he lived for six years before escaping to mainland Europe on a ship with Irish hounds. He entered the church. He later returned to Ireland as a missionary in the north and west of the island, but little is known about the places where he worked and no link can be made between Patrick and any church. By the eighth century he had become the patron saint of Ireland. The Irish monastery system evolved after the time of Patrick and the Irish church did not develop the diocesan model that Patrick and the other early missionaries had tried to establish.
The available body of evidence does not allow the dates of Patrick's life to be fixed with certainty, but it appears that he was active as a missionary in Ireland during the second half of the fifth century. Two letters from him survive, along with later hagiographies from the seventh century onwards. Many of these works cannot be taken as authentic traditions. Uncritical acceptance of the Annals of Ulster would imply that he lived from 387 to 461, and ministered in what is modern day northern Ireland from 433 onwards.