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Sunday, March 26, 2017
Irish diocese celebrates 1,500 years of Christianity
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 The Diocese of Clogher in Ireland is celebrating 1,500 years of Christianity in 2006, thanks to the arrival of St Macartan to Clogher more than fifteen hundred years ago. The Macartan 1500 celebrations opened during the week of prayer for Christian unity in January, when Bishop Nathan of the Armenian Orthodox Church visited Monaghan at the joint invitation of Bishop Michael Jackson (Church of Ireland) and Bishop Joseph Duffy. In the course of this visit, the idea of having an icon of St Macartan written as part of the Macartan 1500 celebration took shape. Next Sunday, as part of a Diocesan Mass of Thanksgiving the Bishop of Clogher, Dr Joseph Duffy will bless the completed icon of St Macartan in the presence of the Papal Nuncio to Ireland Archbishop Giuseppe Lazzarotto and representatives from all the parishes in the diocese. Commenting on the Macartan 1500 celebrations the Bishop of Clogher, Dr Joseph Duffy said: "Macartan's importance in the Diocese of Clogher is to do with the way tradition connects him with St Patrick. In the various genealogies, Macartan is mentioned as one of 'Muintír Phádraig', the group of people who accompanied Patrick on his mission. "Macartan is important in other ways: he represents the Ireland that Patrick converted and he represents a centre of unity, a focus for the faith community that emerged as the Diocese of Clogher. Macartan's reputation has spanned the centuries as the bearer of Patrick's legacy and as our personal, historical link to Jesus Christ." St Macartan is the Patron of the Diocese of Clogher and his Feast Day falls today. The Diocese has commissioned a bronze panel of Macartan for the Cathedral in Monaghan as well as an Icon of Macartan. I Events organised for the Macartan 1500 celebrations include: A Novena of Prayer in every parish - which began on the Feast Day of St Patrick - Friday 17 March and concludes today, Feast Day of St. Macartan. A special element of the Novena is the A set of resources on St Macartan have been prepared by the Diocese for Primary and Post-Primary Schools. These include lesson plans, information on the life of Macartan, an interview with Bishop Duffy and information on the Macartan Tapestry in the Cathedral in Monaghan. The story of St Macartan, more information on the bronze, and school resources are available at
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