Are you sipping a shamrock shake while wearing a green shirt, staring out your window at a green river, with a four leaf clover in your hand? If so, I would say that you are a hard core fan of Saint Patrick’s Day!
But, who was Saint Patrick and why do we honor him on this day, March seventeenth?
It is assumed that he was born in Bannavem Taberniae (thought to be in England, Scotland, or Whales) in 386 A.D. into a wealthy family. His given name was Maewyn Succat.
At the age of sixteen he was kidnapped and taken to Ireland to herd sheep. In Ireland, some years later, he heard God tell him to return to England. He set out on foot and walked mile upon mile, jumped on a boat and returned to England.
While there, an angel told him in a dream to return to Ireland. He then spent many years studying and growing in faith. He became an ordained priest and changed his name to Patricius Daorbae which translated, “Patrick who was once a slave”.
He returned to Ireland spreading the Gospel among the Celtic pagans (Druids). Persecution raged. On March 17, 461 A.D. Patrick was challenged by a Druid magician to a trial by fire ending his life in a magician’s death.
This is by no means an exhaustive account of his life. There is much more written with great historical accuracy.
There was no limit to the legends that were birthed after his death. Ridding Ireland of snakes was one of them. If I have whetted your appetite for more, if you are a trivia buff, or if you’re sitting in a dentist’s office waiting room for hours today, google Saint Patrick and enjoy finding more tidbits!