Saint Patrick was a real human. We know that he lived and worked as a Catholic missionary in Ireland during the 5th century. Considering I have trouble remembering five days ago, it is easy to see how much of Saint Patrick’s history has been lost and/ or distorted. In summary, within 30 years, he’d converted the whole of the pagan country to Catholicism. He also built (or had others build, I’m sure) schools and monasteries.
He didn’t expel snakes from the island… unless “snakes” is a metaphor for pagan religion, which very likely was still practiced behind closed doors.
This is not an arbitrary date for the holiday. It is the anniversary of his death, March 17, 461.
St. Patrick, through the work of centuries of storytelling, developed quite a reputation, ultimately making him the Patron Saint of Ireland. The Great Potato Famine in the 1840’s brought hundreds of thousands of Irish emigrants to America. Naturally, they became part of the American soup, bringing their beloved saint along. Because of the enormous influx, many people can truthfully claim Irish heritage.
Seriously. Check out this quick video and learn more St. Patrick’s Day fact vs. fiction.
Because no holiday is complete without a muppet video, we bring you “Danny Boy” --- or something very similar.