St. Patrick's Day information, facts, history and traditions.
St. Patrick's Day falls on March 17th. It honors Saint Patrick, the Patron Saint of Ireland, who was executed on March 17, about A.D. 461.
Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, is credited with establishing 300 churches in Ireland and of having converted most of the population to Christianity. Patrick was born in Great Britain to a wealthy Alderman and Christian. At 16 Patrick was kidnapped by pirates and sold into slavery in Ireland. During his captivity as a shepherd, he dedicated himself to his religion. He managed to escape captivity six years, later. Returning to England he believed it was his responsibility to bring Christianity to the Irish. He studied in the monastery of Le'rins off the south east coast of France and in Auxerre, France with Saint Germanius, a French bishop. Pope Celestine I later sent Patrick to Ireland. He was an Apostle to the Irish.
The legends about Saint Patrick are what most people associate with St. Patrick's Day. It is said he used the shamrock to explain the concept of the holy trinity to the Irish. Showing them the three leafed clover he explained that God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit were three parts of the same divinity. Many people believe this is how shamrocks came to be identified with St. Patrick as well as Ireland, becoming it's national symbol. He is also said to have driven the snakes out of Ireland.
Shamrocks, Leprechauns, Irish jigs, bag pipes, green beer,
and pots of gold at the end of the rainbow
are all symbols of the Holiday. A four leaf clover is considered to be a sign of good luck. Corn Beef and Cabbage is generally the meal of choice. Religious services may also, be observed to commemorate the day.
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