17 Mar Who is St Patrick and why do we celebrate St Patrick’s day?
St Patrick was a bishop in Ireland and he lived in the fifth century. He was a Romano-British Christian Missionary and he is known by many as the patron saint of Ireland alongside Columba and Brigit of Kildare. Aside from the Romano-British community, St Patrick is also venerated in other communities as well such as the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Anglican Community as well as the Old Catholic Church.
The life of St Patrick
Many details such as the birth date and other similar information has been lost in the shroud of time but one thing is certain, according to many written pieces, St Patrick was an active missionary in Ireland during the second half of the fifth century.
According to the early medieval tradition, he was the first Armagh bishop and the Primate of Ireland during the fifth century, but thankfully, we can find out more about him in the book Confession of Patrick. Based on that, we can find out that St Patrick was captured by the Irish pirates and then he was taken as a slave in Ireland where he had the job to nurture the animals. He escaped the pirates only after 6 years and that’s when he came back to his family.
The happenings during his life with the pirates actually led to him becoming a cleric. He came to the west and northern part of Ireland. No one really knows about the places where he served as a bishop, but people revered him about the great connection that he had with god and the predilection towards helping a variety of persons understand they wrongs.
He also baptized thousands of people, which was a great thing at a time of turbulence in the history of England, as you might know.
The popularity of St Patrick also created quite a lot of interesting legends, some of which are true while others are quite different and unreal. For example, one of the legends credits the saint with the fact that he taught the Irish about the Holy Trinity via using a shamrock. Other legends are actually dwelling into fantasy, as they tend to make St Patrick as the person that has banished all the snakes from Ireland. People also said that his walking stick or staff that he carried around all the time was actually taking roots by the time St Patrick was ready to move to a new location to preach.
St Patrick’s Day
As you can see, St Patrick did have a major focus on helping the people of Ireland understand religion and this has definitely helped transform Ireland into the society it is today. People celebrate St Patrick’s Day on the 17th of March, which is the supposed day of his death. The popularity of St Patrick’s Day has reached various regions outside Ireland and many consider it a cultural as well as religious holiday.
For the Irish, this is a holy day of Obligation but also one of solemnity and a true celebration of what Ireland stands for. That’s why many Irish nationals from all over the world revere the 17th of March as being a day of peace, prosperity and a great insight into the future that is to come!