Who Was St. Patrick?
We all know about St. Patrick’s Day (March 17) celebrations, parades, wearin’ of the green and all of that but who was this Catholic saint whose name is lent to these different traditions? Was he the patron saint of green beer? Corned beef and cabbage? Shillelaghs? Not quite.
Catholic.org has some background.
–Patrick was born around 385 in Scotland
–As a boy of fourteen or so, he was captured during a raiding party and taken to Ireland as a slave to herd and tend sheep
–During his captivity, he turned to God in prayer.
–Patrick’s captivity lasted until he was twenty, when he escaped after having a dream from God in which he was told to leave Ireland by going to the coast.
–Later, Patrick was ordained a bishop, and was sent to take the Gospel to Ireland. He began preaching the Gospel throughout Ireland, converting many. He and his disciples preached and converted thousands and began building churches all over the country.
–Patrick preached and converted all of Ireland for 40 years. He worked many miracles.
–March 17, popularly known as St. Patrick’s Day, is believed to be his death date and is the date celebrated as his feast day.
via St. Patrick – Saints & Angels – Catholic Online.
Did he really drive all the snakes out of Ireland as legend has it? Probably not but the celebration surrounding the good saint brings the subject of Irish identity to the forefront , at least for a few days.