An Post has issued a stamp based on an icon painting of St Patrick, to commemorate Ireland's national holiday on March 17.
Legend suggests that St Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, converted the Irish people to Christianity in the fifth century AD. By the time of his death, about 460 AD, Christianity had been firmly established in Ireland.
St Patrick's Day parades to honour the saint are staged throughout Ireland, the USA, Canada and many other countries around the world. The first such parade in Ireland was organised in Dublin in 1931 and in recent years, it has become a major annual tourist attraction in Dublin.
The Russian icon painting used in this stamp design continues an ancient practice that is more traditionally and correctly known as icon writing. It creates images of Jesus, signals events and makes images of the saints, in order to increase the veneration of the Christian faith. Icon writing uses time honoured techniques and since these are spiritual images, specific approaches and practices are used.
The stamp was designed by Steve Simpson and based on a painting by Russian artist Ekaterina Platoshechkina.