Today is St Patrick’s Day. It is celebrated annually. It began as a Christian holiday and became an official feast day in the early 1600s. However, it has gradually become more of a secular celebration of Ireland’s culture.
The day celebrates the life of the patron Saint Patrick. At the age of sixteen he was kidnapped from his native land of the Roman British Isles and sold into slavery in Ireland. He worked as a shepherd and turned to religion for solace. After six years he escaped to the Irish coast and fled home to Britain.
While back in his homeland, he decided to become a priest. He then returned to Ireland after dreaming that the voices of the Irish people were calling him to convert them to Christianity.
After years of studying, he went back to Ireland as a Christian missionary. St. Patrick was able to bring upon a massive religious shift to Christianity by converting people of power.
His desire to spread Christianity was met with opposition. He ran into trouble with the local pagan priesthood and history tells of many fights. He laid the groundwork for the establishment of hundreds of monasteries and churches.
He is also credited with bringing written word to Ireland through the promotion of the study of legal texts and the Bible.
Patrick’s mission in Ireland is said to have lasted for thirty years. It is believe he died in the 5th century on March 17, which is the day St. Patrick’s Day is commemorated each year.
Some facts about St. Patrick’s Day:
1 – In Ireland on this day people traditionally wear a small bunch of shamrocks on their jackets or caps.
2 – Many cities have a St. Patrick’s Day parade
3 – Many legends and myths surround St Patrick. Some of this lore includes the belief that Patrick raised people from the dead.
4 – The first church founded by Saint Patrick is located at Mag-inis. The ground is considered holy.
While I was researching this post I found some lovely pictures about St Patrick’s Day. Check them out.