The Lowndown on St. Paddy
was St. Patrick?
St. Patrick was born Maewyn Succat in Kilpatrick, Scotland, in the
year of 387 AD. to parents of a high ranked Roman family. At sixteen,
Irish Marauders carried him off and sold him as a slave to a chieftain
in what is now the county of Antrim in Ireland. During his days
of captivity he mastered the Celtic tongue and became familiar with
the details of Druidism.
After six years, he fled captivity to Britain where he devoted himself
to the service of God. He was eventually promoted to priesthood.
Pope Celestine entrusted him with the mission to bring Christianity
to Ireland. It was then that he was given the name Patercius
or Patritius derived from two Latin words meaning the
father of the people.
Patrick journeyed through Ireland despite much danger, and many
legends tell of miracles and mystical battles between him and the
Druids. Because of his knowledge of the Celtic language, St. Patrick
easily spread the word of Christianity and over several years battled
Irish paganism by conquering one kingdom after another. He succeeded
in converting almost the entire population of the Island.
do we celebrate St. Patricks Day on March 17th?
St. Patrick died in Saul, Downpatrick, Ireland on the 17th of March,
460 AD. Thus we celebrate this patron saint of Ireland on the seventeenth
of March every year.
St. Patrick really drive the snakes out of Ireland?
The legend is that St. Patrick drove all the snakes into the seas
where they drowned. In actual fact, the legend represents the driving
out of paganism from Ireland. Any snakes that may have been in Ireland
were most likely
taken care of by the Ice Age.
was the first St. Patricks Day celebrated in North America?
The first St. Patricks Day celebration in America was held
in Boston in 1737.
do we use Shamrocks to represent St. Patricks Day?
The legend goes that St. Patrick used a shamrock as an analogy to
explain the Trinity to his converters. Each leaf on the plant is
of equal size and importance, as with the Father, the Son, and the
Holy Ghost. The shamrock thus became the national symbol of Ireland.
Leprechauns have absolutely nothing to do with St. Patrick. In Irish
legend, leprechauns were generally seen as bad tempered spirits,
capable of great mischief. But, since they are Irish and are cute
little fellas, they were quickly adopted by greeting card companies.