St. Patrick’s Day History

Chicago River Goes Green - St. Patrick's Day

Chicago River Goes Green - Image by Celikins

St. Patrick’s Day is regarded as one of the world’s most festive annual holiday celebrations.  To many people St. Patrick is known as the patron saint of Ireland. Although the details surrounding St. Patrick’s birthdate aren’t 100% certain it’s generally accepted that St. Patrick was born to noble parents in Britain, as Maewyn Succat, sometime around the year 387 A.D.

During Patrick’s youth he was kidnapped by a band of marauders and held captive for several years.  It was during this time

4 Leaf Clover - St. Patrick's Day

4 Leaf Clover - St. Patrick's Day

that St. Patrick became a devout Christian.  One day while sleeping, he dreamt of boarding a ship and escaping his captors.  Shortly after having the dream St. Patrick is said to have escaped his captors and sailed back to Britain as a free man.  However,

it wasn’t

long before he had vision which led him back to Ireland as a missionary.

From this point there are very many versions of St. Patrick’s life as a missionary in Ireland.  However, two things that we do know are:

St Patricks Day-Leprechaun

St Patricks Day-Leprechaun

1.      By the time of St. Patrick’s death (March 17, 461 AD) he’d managed to help convert Ireland from Paganism to Catholicism.

2.      In doing so he was forced to overcome a number of seemingly insurmountable odds.

The people of Ireland have celebrated March 17th as St. Patrick’s Day since his death.  In the 18th century, when Irish immigrants landed in theNew World they brought St. Patrick’s Day with them.  Since this time St. Patrick’s Day has grown to be celebrated not only in Ireland and in the US but also across many faiths and nationalities.

So this St. Patrick’s Day, as you eat your corned beef, drink your green beer or wear your green clothes, remember that we’re all Irish on St. Patrick’s Day.

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