St. Patrick’s Day is coming up, and that means parades, green rivers and clothing, beer and Irish feasts. But, who is Saint Patrick and why is he so celebrated?
The son of a deacon, and grandson of a priest, Patrick was born in fourth century Roman Britain. When he was 16 years old, Patrick was kidnapped and made a slave by Irish pagans. During this time, he was made a shepherd and is said to have found God. As the tale goes, God told Patrick to flee to the coast where he would find a ship to take him home. And, so, he made his way home and became a priest.
Later in life, Patrick returned to Ireland to convert the pagans into Christians—he is said to have spent many years in Ireland and to have converted thousands. This is where the allegory of Patrick driving the “snakes” out of Ireland comes from.
March 17 is the day of Patrick’s death and, thus, the day St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated. Over the years, many legends formed around Patrick and he became Ireland’s foremost saint.