The celebration of St. Patrick’s Day has a religious origin, which has been lost over time, with his work and accomplishments having been long forgotten by most people. So, before you embark on your favorite St. Patrick’s Day rituals and routines, don green attire, or imbibe in adult beverages of questionable coloration, let’s have a quick review. But, don’t worry; you will not be tested on this material.
- Patrick is not really a Saint (that is, he was not canonized by Rome)
- He was not Irish; he was English
- He did not rid Ireland of snakes; that is folklore.
- Patrick did go to Ireland (actually, he went twice, the first time, unwillingly as a slave; the second time willingly, as a missionary).
- For 30 years, he traveled Ireland, promoting Christianity and setting up churches and monasteries.
He died on March 17, 461 (yes, a long, long time ago), marking the day that we commemorate his life — by celebrating his myth.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!