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Sunday, February 20, 2011

New Irish St. Patrick's Day Postage Stamp

On 17 February, 2011, An Post issued a new stamp to commemorate St Patrick's Day.

This year's stamp is based on a stone carving of St Patrick at the entrance to the spire of the chapel at St Patrick's College Maynooth, which was founded in 1795 but due to a lack of funding the chapel was not built until 1891. The architect was J.J. McCarthy, Professor of Architecture of the Catholic University.

The college was founded as a seminary for the education of priests as prior to this it had not been possible to educate Catholic priests in Ireland. In 1795 a petition to Parliament was successful and 'An Act for the better education of persons professing the Popish or Roman Catholic religion' was passed, and a modest grant was provided to establish a college. Over 11,000 priests have been ordained from St Patrick's College, and they have served in every parish in Ireland and throughout the world.

The first day cover features green shamrock, legend has it that St Patrick used shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity, whereby each petal on the clover represents an entity of God. The top petal is God and the other two represent Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

The stamp and first day cover were designed by Steve Simpson.