Though our family has no Irish heritage, we do enjoy celebrating Saint Patrick's Day.
What is Saint Patrick's Day about anyway?
Saint Patrick was born in Britain the son of a Deacon and Grandson of a priest. He was abducted at the age of 16, taken to Ireland and enslaved. There he remained captive for 6 years, doing the work of a herdsman. During his time in captivity he prayed daily and his faith grew strong.
After being in Ireland 6 years as a slave he heard a voice telling him he would go home soon. Later he heard another voice telling him his ship was ready. He then fled, traveling over 200 miles to find his ship and sail home. By the time he returned home to his family he was in his early twenties.
Upon his return to Britain he again heard another voice speaking to him, telling him to return to Ireland as a missionary.
He then started religious training which took him more than 15 years. After which he was ordained as a priest and sent off to Ireland. It is believed that he went with two goals in mind, 1) to minister to Christians in Ireland and 2) to convert the Irish to Christianity. Some believe that Saint Patrick actually introduced Christianity to Ireland.
There are also some fun legends pertaining to Saint Patrick, I thought I would share my two favorites:
1) Legend says that Saint Patrick drove all the snakes out of Ireland. Chasing them into the sea after they attacked him while doing a 40 day fast on a hill top.
2) Legend also says that Saint Patrick used the shamrock to demonstrate the Holy Trinity, (Father, Son and Holy Spirit). The shape and green color were also believed to symbolize the rebirth and eternal life, which is probably why they have become a common symbol for St.Patrick's Day.
And March 17 is believed to be Saint Patrick's day of death, which is where the date came from.
I love knowing a little bit of the history behind the holidays we celebrate and thought some of you might be interested to. I'm not sure where along the line, leprechauns and rainbows became connected with Saint Patrick's Day, I guess it's like any other holidays, commercialism enters along the way.
From our family to yours, Happy St. Patrick's Day!