Who Was St. Patrick?
Everybody loves to play on St. Patrick’s Day. People that aren’t even Irish claim to have a wee whisp of Irish blood in them on St. Paddy’s Day. But who was St. Patrick? Well, I did a little investigating and here’s what I found out!
First off, his name wasn’t Patrick. Historians say his name was Maewyn Succat.
Maewyn was not even Irish! It is believed that he was born in Scotland or Wales and was sold as a slave and that’s how he got to Ireland!
According to WikiHow.com:
Most sources agree that St. Patrick’s actual name was Maewyn Succat. They also agree that Maewyn was kidnapped and sold into slavery at age 16 and, to help him endure his enslavement, he turned to God.
Six years after his captivity began, St. Patrick escaped from slavery to France, where he became a priest, and then the second Bishop to Ireland. He spent the next 30 years establishing schools, churches, and monasteries across the country. He brought Christianity widespread acceptance amongst the pagan indigenous peoples.
It is thought that St. Patrick used a shamrock as a metaphor for the Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), showing how three individual units could be part of the same body. His parishioners began wearing shamrocks to his church services. Today, “the wearing of the green” on St. Patrick’s Day represents spring, shamrocks, and Ireland.
The date of St. Patrick’s death is still up for discussion. Some say that he died on March 17th, 461 AD. Another possibility is either March 8th or 9th – the days were added together to get March 17th. What is certain is that the holiday came to America in 1737, and was celebrated in Boston that year.
Did you know that there are more Irish in American than in Ireland? I saw a report that said there are around 36 million Americans of Irish descent and only 4.5 million in Ireland itself!
Happy St. Patrick’s Day and don’t forget to wear your green!!