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Showing posts from March, 2018

Shared Symbolism - Saint Patrick, Ireland and the RCSI College Arms

RCSI’s College Arms share a couple of popular St. Patrick symbols. Can you spot them? RCSI College Armorial Bearings The Shamrock ‘The Supporters are Irish elks, with chaplets of shamrock around their necks' The shamrock has been used as a symbol over the ages, and is attributed to Saint Patrick in his attempt to describe the Holy Trinity to the pagan Irish. It later became one of the symbols to represent Ireland itself. The Snake ‘The Crest (has) an eagle, preying on a serpent, which was an emblem of disease’. The snake has long held associations with disease, death and evil. However, in the legend of Patrick, when he banishes snakes from Ireland he is presumably banishing evil in the form of paganism rather than disease. RCSI College Arms Our current College Arms date to 1907, but RCSI’s heraldry has evolved over time. JDH Widdess, medical historian and past RCSI Librarian and Professor of Biology, traced the symbolic influences such as the surgeon’s lancet stemming from t