The History Of Saint Patrick’s Day

The Story Of Real-Life Patrick, Ireland’s Patron Saint

Saint Patrick’s Day is celebrated each year on March 17th to honor Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. Patrick was a real person, but he was actually not Irish. Patrick was a Roman citizen living in Britain who was kidnapped at age 16 by Irish raiders and taken to Ireland.

There, he was a slave for six years who spent his days herding sheep. During this time, he found God. Although he later escaped slavery and Ireland and returned home where he became a priest, he felt called to return to the Emerald Isles and did so, bringing Christianity to the people of Ireland.

He used the pagan teachings and other beliefs that the people already held to help them understand the doctrines of Christianity. For example, he used the three-leaf clover (i.e. shamrock) to teach about the Trinity.

Legend holds that he died on March 17th and was buried at Downpatrick.  When my mother was growing up, she recalls that the traditional Lenten sacrifices were abandoned on Saint Patrick’s Day and that food and drink were allowed to be consumed in spite of it being Lent.  Thus, those who observe the ‘get out of jail free’ aspect of St. Patrick’s Day may indulge!

Today, we remember Saint Patrick and his care for Ireland by donning green, gathering for festivities and parades, and enjoying good food and drinks.

I hope you find a fun way to celebrate Saint Patrick! To catch up on the latest from The Maria Sanchez Show, download the latest podcast today.

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