Whether or not we have Irish roots, many of us celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Last month, we took a look at St. Valentine’s possibly murky origins. This month, St. Patrick presents a few of the same challenges, although it is certain that he was a real person.
St. Patrick’s years of birth and death are unknown, but he likely lived in the 5th century A.D. He was British and it is thought that when he was about 16 years old, he was captured by Irish pirates and taken in slavery to Ireland for about six years.
St Patrick returned to Britain and became a clergyman who traveled widely as a missionary. Where? Back in Ireland where he worked to spread Christianity.
St. Patrick is known as the “Apostle of Ireland” and is said to have been the first bishop of Armagh. He has been venerated as a saint at least since the 7th century and is the patron saint of Ireland.
There is a legend that St. Patrick drove all the snakes out of Ireland, but scholars believe there weren’t ever any snakes there to be driven away.
Modern times do not see St. Patrick’s Day as a religious holiday. Instead, it is associated with all things Irish, from shamrocks to leprechauns to green – lots and lots of green!
However you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, have a fun, safe holiday.