The tradition of St. Patrick’s Day began hundreds of years back. A boy in Roman England was captured and taken to Ireland as a captive where he found God. It is said that St. Patrick could hear from the angels, and that he had raised people from the dead. He was a very active missionary throughout Ireland for 30 years, and that is why he is called the patron saint of Ireland. There have been many legends attached to this saint, and they have lasted throughout the centuries. This holiday began as a Holy Day in the Catholic Church, but over the years this religious Catholic saint’s day has turned into a more secular celebration of the upcoming new spring.
Here are a few facts for St. Patrick’s Day:
- March 17th, the day of celebration, is the day of Patrick’s death.
- St. Patrick, the patron saint of the Irish, was not from Ireland.
- Patrick was an old time missionary in Ireland during the 4th century.
- He brought many people to conversion and into the Christian religion.
- The Shamrock, symbol of St. Patrick’s Day, was a plant with three leaves that Patrick used to demonstrate to the pagans the trinity of God – Father, Son and Holy Ghost. It is a common figure and accessory for St. Patrick’s Day costumes.
- Maewyn is the name St. Patrick was born with. His name was changed by the Bishop in a monastery in France, after he escaped his captivity. He was not religious at all when he was a child.
- The first St. Paddy’s day parade in America was in 1737, 40 years before the Revolutionary War.
- The first day of spring is March 21st and this could be the reason St. Patrick’s Day celebrations have caught on so big.
- Everyone turns Irish for a day – just wear green, the sign of life.
- Irish dishes include Corned beef and cabbage, Irish stew, Irish cream pie, Irish soda bread, scones, Irish cheese bread, and all of this would be a good choice on St. Patrick’s Day.
There are many traditions and legends that have been passed down through the generations, so even the barest of facts have gotten confused. It is not even certain exactly when Patrick was born, the actual date varies about 30 years in early 300 A.D. but the day of his death is certain, March 17, and that is the important day.
Whether you are celebrating the life of a glorified Catholic saint or the oncoming spring and all the new growth and new life possibilities that a new life can encompass, it really doesn’t matter. Wear something Green, grab a green hat, give someone a shamrock and join in the parade. Good luck and Blessings are meant for all!