Who Is St Patrick?

St Patrick is an Irish defender. His feast day is celebrated on 17 March every year and there are parades held on this day around the world. A lot of facts are known about this man but there are myths and legends collected over the years. The Irish are generally superstitious and, although we know that many of these myths are untrue, you will be forced to find anyone in Ireland who will deny it.

Who is Saint Patrick?

I'll start with the facts we know. He was born in Scotland and had a wealthy Roman parents named Calpurnius and Conchessa. There is nothing definite in the history of the year of his birth but it is estimated that this was in 385 AD. At the age of fourteen and sixteen, Patrick was arrested by a group of Irish invaders who took him to Ireland where he spent six years as a slave in captivity. Exact location is not recorded but many say this is in Mount Slemish, near Ballymena in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. It is also known that he worked as a shepherd.

He fled when he was 22-23 years old. Then, according to his own record, God spoke to him in a dream and told him that he was to leave Ireland and on his return to Britain he had a second dream of returning to Ireland as a missionary. St Patrick began his religious training, and it lasted more than fifteen years. He was ordained by St Germanus as a priest, and was sent back to Ireland with the task of helping a few Christians who were already Irish and began converting the Irish to Christianity. He was later ordained a bishop.

Ireland at the time was a country steeped in paganism and rigid tradition. Patrick would have known this and been fluent in Irish. On the contrary, he mixed Christian teachings with their ancient beliefs. An example of this was the creation of the Celtic Cross where he added the sun in the center of the common Christian cross. He also used the common shamrock to describe the concept of the Holy Trinity. Its three leaves represented God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. The ancient myth is that he drove out the serpents in Ireland, but the fact is that they never existed in Ireland in the first place. All I can tell you is that there are no snakes in Ireland, so learn from what you will love.

St. Patrick is celebrated on March 17 and is believed to be the date of his death although this has not been officially recorded anywhere. Historians believe that he died in Saul near Downpatrick in Northern Ireland about 461.

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