Today, March, 17th, marks the Feast of St. Patrick, Ireland’s patron saint’s which falls on his death anniversary. St. Patrick’s Day is a celebration recognized by the Catholic Church.
St. Patrick came from a wealthy Romano-British family and lived in Britain. At the age of sixteen, St. Patrick was kidnapped by Irish raiders, who took him to Gaelic Ireland to be a slave. While working as a shepherd there, it is said that he found God and that God told St. Patrick to flee to the coast where a ship would be waiting for him. He became a priest when he reached home.
St. Patrick returned to Ireland and converted the pagan Celts to Christianity, abolishing slavery and human sacrifice decades later.
There is an interesting account of St. Patrick driving out snakes from the green fields of Ireland among others.
According to the legend, he climbed the top of a mountain overlooking the sea and ordered all the serpents in Ireland to assemble at his feet before he drove them into the water by beating a drum.
Another legend associated with St. Patrick involves the Shamrock which has become the symbol of Irish heritage.
He knew that the number three held significance in Celtic tradition and pagan beliefs, and used the the three-leaved clover which grows all over the island to explain the concept of the Christian Holy Trinity which is, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are separate elements of one entity.
Here’s wishing the Irish-diaspora throughout the world – Happy St. Patrick’s Day!