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St. Patrick

St. Patrick

Ok, there's a million billion blogs and articles out there on St Patrick so we're going to take our own approach;

Firstly, we're going to start with a few things we need to clear up;

1. In the presence of Irish people one should only refer to it as St Patrick's Day or Paddy's Day..... most Irish people would consider it complete blasphemy to refer to it as "St Pattys day" - please refrain.
 
2. Yep, its true he's not even Irish - he was Welsh.... he's not even really ours, but like so many he came here and fell for our unique charm and we kind of claimed him as our own!
 
3. It's highly unlikely there ever were snakes for him to chase away, apparently the cold, wet climate and the lack of a land-bridge to other snake habitats would have made it impossible for snakes to live here in the fifth century.
 
4. It's Shamrock that we use to symbolise Ireland, the three leaf kind! Never four leaves, Never Clover. Good-old, grows on the bridge between McDermotts & McGanns kind of Shamrock.
 
5. We dont celebrate by eating Corned Beef.... I dont think I've eaten (or seen) corned beef since the 80's, and wouldn't' think that uncommon for most Irish people. If you want to go for a typical old style Irish dish.... think more along the lines of an Irish Stew served up with Brown Bread & lashings of salty butter or Bacon & Cabbage with floury spuds (potatoes).
 
6. Wearing of the green will not make you invisible to the leprechauns, they can see you - those pesky little mischief men are everywhere and see everything
 

Ok, so now that those key points are out of the way, what was his story?

It's believed he was born in Wales, son to a Deacon, and was captured by Irish pirates and enslaved in Northern Ireland at the age of just 16. He spent 6 years forced into servitude as a herdsman before escaping and making his way back to his family.

He went on to study Christianity in Europe and was ordained a priest, he was compelled by the Lord to return to Ireland to teach the people of Christianity. It's thought he used the three leaves of the Shamrock as a simple, visual representation of the Holy Trinity; the Father, the Son & the Holy Spirit.

Legend has it that he was responsible for banishing the snakes from Ireland, however it's quite likely that the snakes were in fact figurative references to Patrick riding Ireland of heathens & paganism. 

Patrick is said to have founded his first church in an old barn at Saul, Co Down which was donated to him by a local chieftain and it is here he remained, continuing to teach Christianity till his death. Patrick is said to be buried at Down Cathedral, alongside St Brigid & St Columba. Surprisingly Patrick was never been formally cannonised by a pope, yet is recognised and appears on the List of Saints.

Across the world, for every Irish person or indeed every person with a little bit of Ireland in them, the 17th day of March is the day on which we celebrate our Irish-ness with an abundance of passion & pride, a parade, a few pints of Guinness and lots of craic & ceol!

Wherever you are this St Patrick's Day #gogreen