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Lion Symbol

I believe that St Patrick was at Lerins monastery, an isle off
Southern France, before he went to Ireland. He would have
been influenced by eastern thought there. Probably, too
there was an artistic influence from Persia and the East
on the early celtic (Irish) designs. But I do not believe that the Lion
as a symbol or artistic design is used often in the early
Irish  illuminated books. One would think that such a potent symbol
in the flowering of the Celtic Church in Ireland would have been
more conspicuous.
The first English use of the Lion could be by the Norman Plantagenet,
Geoffery of Anjou, who definately used the animal on his shield.
Mark Anderson