Moscow, March 10, Interfax - The Russian Orthodox Church will from now on mark March 30 as Saint Patrick's Day in commemoration of St. Patrick (ca. 385-461 AD), a saint of the ancient and undivided Church, who is now widely known as the patron saint of Ireland.
"Among the important issues considered at the Holy Synod's meeting today was the inclusion of the names of ancient saints who acted in Central and Western Europe before 1054 in the menology. In all, the names of more than fifteen saints who acted in western countries have been included in the menology, among them Saint Patricius, the enlightener of Ireland, better known among our country's believers as Saint Patrick," Vladimir Legoyda, the chairman of the Synodal Department for Church, Society and Media Relations, said Interfax-Religion.
The list of saints was compiled based on information on their veneration by Orthodox believers in Western European dioceses of the Russian Orthodox Church and also based on the tradition of their veneration by other local Orthodox Churches, he said.
"Among the factors taken into consideration were the impeccability with which they professed the Orthodox faith, the circumstances of glorification, and the absence of the saint's name among those mentioned in polemical works dealing with the struggle against the Eastern Church and eastern rite," Legoyda said.
Saint Patrick's Day is celebrated annually in Western countries on March 17, the day of St. Patrick's earthly death.