Guinness, Green Hat, Shamrock, Oh And St. Patrick

St. Patrick by jaqian
St. Patrick, a photo by jaqian on Flickr.

Don your green hats, search out a shamrock and down a pint of Guinness for tomorrow is the day where we remember St. Patrick. The festival that was largely created by Irish Americans to remember the homeland has little to do with St Patrick. Yet why allow facts to get in the way of a good story or a celebration for that matter!

St Patrick wasn’t even Irish, he was born in Britain to an aristocratic family, and only ended up in Ireland when kidnapped by a bunch of marauders at the age of 16. He worked as a slave with the sheep on the hillside for seven years. It was during this period of his life that he became deeply religious and a devout Christian. He eventually escaped back to Britain where he was ordained by the Bishop, and in due course went back to Ireland as a missionary. Whilst trying to convert the masses he was often beaten up by thugs, disliked by the aristocracy of the land and even chastised by his own family. It seems that when he died he was largely forgotten about. It was centuries later that he became the patron saint of Ireland. That’s not because he drove the snakes out of the land, because there never were any!

So wear your green hats and your shamrock, even have a pint of the black stuff, but in all of the frivolity and fun spare a thought for St Patrick. A true saint who committed his life to sharing a faith that was alive and true in his own life. Happy St Patrick’s day.

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