Hi Peace Family! Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you and your family! We hope you wore some green today! We all have celebrated St. Patrick’s Day our whole lives but do you know anything about the REAL St. Patrick? Yes, there really was one! He was a 5th century Christian missionary and bishop in Ireland. He was also known as the “Apostle of Ireland” and is the patron saint of the island.
When he was about 16 he was captured from his home in Wales and taken as a slave to Ireland. There he stayed for 6 years before escaping and returning to his family. St. Patrick wrote this was critical to his spiritual development. He later returned to Ireland and served as an ordained bishop.
Why are shamrocks the central symbol for St. Patrick’s Day? Because he used the shamrock, a three leafed plant, to illustrate the Christian teaching of three persons in one God.
The absence of snakes in Ireland gave rise to the legend that they had all been banished by him chasing them into the sea after they attacked him during a 40-day fast he had undertaken. This is only a legend but an interesting one!
We celebrate on March 17th because this is believed to be the date of his death. It is also celebrated as his feast day. Though never officially canonized by a Pope, the Christian Church recognizes him as a Saint in Heaven. He is celebrated not just in Ireland but all over the world each year on this date.
While St. Patrick’s Day has been a celebration of a very different sort in last few hundred years, we at Peace 107 wanted you to know a little about the actual person behind the holiday.