Saint Patrick’s Day is celebrated around the world by the irish and the irish at heart. Green color is over everything, a clover printed on every sign and restaurant door, and corned beef and cabbage is all about. However, St. Patrick’s day wasn’t always a massive celebration of irish culture and heritage. It started as a simple feasting day to celebrate the patron saint of ireland. How could one man deserve such a festive and widely celebrated holiday? Well his history is a pretty big hint. St. Patrick was the man who spread christianity to ireland, but he had more… humble beginnings.
Saint Patrick was born in england in roughly 385 A.D. His father a Roman deacon and his mother a close relative to St. Martin of Tours, he seemed destined to live a life of religious fervor. However, he was not actually heavily focused on religion by his parents, nor was his education stressed, much to his embarrassment later in life.
At the age of 16, the young Patrick was captured by Irish pirates and sold into slavery where he was to tend to sheep. Patrick saw this as God testing his fate and he grew increasingly devout as his time in captivity went on. His dream was to free ireland from druidism, the primary religion at the time. After six years of captivity Patrick got his idea for escape in a dream. He managed to convince several sailors to take him aboard their ship. The sailed to france where they abandoned their ship and went separate ways.
Patrick went to Auxerre, France to where he entered the priesthood. He never lost sight of his goal to convert ireland as time passed and vowed to return. And return he did, as in 431 A.D. he returned to ireland, after being named a bishop by the pope himself, and began to spread christianity. He was met with hostilities at first but he soon hat the minds and hearts of the people and converted great swaths of ireland through blessing, preaching and performing countless baptisms. He died in 461, but not after establishing churches, monasteries, and church officials all throughout ireland, and earning his place on the list of saints.