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Irish History - St. Patty's Day

Updated on May 21, 2018
Pamela99 profile image

I love history and all the events that built our great country. Some events have details known by the average person but still interesting.

Life of Saint Patrick, Patron Saint of Ireland

St. Patrick is recognized as the Patron Saint of Ireland, although Brigid of Kildare and Columba are also formally patron saints. St. Patrick is one of the world’s most popular and best known saints. He was born at Kilpatrick, near Dumbarton, in Scotland, in the years 387 and died at Saul, Downpatrick, Ireland, 17 March 461. His parents were Calpurnius and Conchessa, who were Romans living in Britain in charge of the colonies.

At roughly 14 to16 years of age, he was captured by Irish marauders and sold as a slave to a Chieftan named Milchu in Dalriada, and taken to a territory of the present county of Antrim in Ireland as a slave.

\He tended sheep for six years. At this time Ireland was a land of Druids and pagans. He lived in their culture and learned to speak Celtic tongue perfectly. Although he was from a Christian background, he was not particularly religious before his capture.

Saint Patricks Description of the Days of Slavery

“He relates in his "Confessio" (a brief text written later in life), that during his captivity while tending the flocks he prayed many times in the day: "the love of God, he added, and His fear increased in me more and more, and the faith grew in me, and the spirit was roused, so that, in a single day, I have said as many as a hundred prayers, and in the night nearly the same, so that whilst in the woods and on the mountain, even before the dawn, I was roused to prayer and felt no hurt from it, whether there was snow or ice or rain; nor was there any slothfulness in me, such as I see now, because the spirit was then fervent within me.”

When he was 20 years old he had a dream where God told him to leave Ireland by going to the coast, which meant walking for 200 miles, and there he found some sailors who took him back to Britain where he was reunited with his family.

After his return he stated that he had a second dream where God told him to return to Ireland as a missionary. Soon thereafter, he began religious training that lasted more than 15 years. After his study he received his ordination as a Bishop by St. Germanus, by the Bishop of Auxerre. He was sent to Ireland with a dual mission; to minister to the few Christians already living in Ireland and to begin to convert the Irish.

Shamrock Used to Teach the Trinity


Saint Patricks Years in Ireland

Familiar with the Irish language and culture, Patrick chose to incorporate traditional ritual into his lessons of Christianity instead of attempting to eradicate native Irish beliefs. For instance, he used bonfires to celebrate Easter since the Irish were used to honoring their Gods with fire.

There are many legends about his exploits. One tells of him meeting a chieftain Dichu, from one the tribes that had tried to kill him, but after the meeting Dichu wasn’t able to move his arm until he became friendly with Patrick. This, of course, changed the relationship. Mythology credits him with banishing snakes from the island of Ireland, though others suggest that for climatic reasons Ireland never actually had snakes.

Patrick began preaching the Gospel throughout Ireland, converting many, and he had many disciples who also preached. They converted thousands of Irish, plus began building churches all over the country. Kings, families and entire kingdoms converted to Christianity after hearing Patrick’s message.

He preached for 40 years. He worked many miracles and wrote of his love for God in Confessions. After living in poverty, traveling and enduring much suffering he died March 17, 1461. He died at Saul where he built his first church.

Patrick used the shamrock to explain the Trinity, and it has been associated with him and the Irish ever since. Patrick was a humble, pious, gentle man, whose love, total devotion and trust in God won many souls.

Saul, Downpatrick, Ireland

Death of Saint Patrick

Two authentic letters from Saint Patrick survive, from which come the only universally accepted details of his life. The "Confession" and the "Epistola ad Coroticum" are recognized by all modern critical writers as of unquestionable genuineness. The best edition with a text, translation, and critical notes, is by Rev. Dr. White for the Royal Irish Academy, in 1905. He died in Saul, Downpatrick, Ireland (see the map below).

Saint Patrick, the Patron Saint is celebrated around the world on March 17th, the day of his death. The life of Saint Patrick, the Savior of Ireland is remembered world wide.


Saint Patrick, the Patron Saint of Ireland, led a very interesting life. He certainly had a great influence in history with regard to religion.

He is famous also for using the shamrock to explain the trinity. Numerous churches were built and thousands were converted to Christianity thanks to his teaching as he traveled all over Ireland.

The copyright, renewed in 2018, for this article is owned by Pamela Oglesby. Permission to republish this article in print or online must be granted by the author in writing.


Submit a Comment
  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    10 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Prasetio, Thank you for your comment.

  • prasetio30 profile image


    10 years ago from malang-indonesia

    nice information. That's something beautiful from Ireland. Thanks Pamela.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    10 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Thank you so much for your comment.

  • profile image


    10 years ago


    Great HUb. its amazing that people hang on to the myths and forget the imprtance of his life, such as taking Christ to ireland. His life was a testimony of God's forgivenss and mercy. Good work here

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    10 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Roberta, I'm glad you enjoyed the hub. Thanks for stopping by.

  • profile image


    10 years ago

    Never knew very much about St. Patrick. Truly enjoyed your Hub.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    10 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Support Med, I learned so much doing the research on St. Patrick also. Thanks you for your comment.

  • Support Med. profile image

    Support Med. 

    10 years ago from Michigan

    I never knew the shamrock was utilized to explain the trinity. The breastplate song is absolutely and positively beautiful!!!!!! This is actually the first time I have ever read anything about St. Patrick. The Irish should be very proud to have had such a saint among them!. Beautiful Hub Pamela99!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    10 years ago from Sunny Florida

    De Greek, No, he never married. I looked at a lot of literature so I think I would have found it if he was.

    Janny, Thanks so much for your compliment. Thanks to both of you for stopping by.

  • JannyC profile image


    10 years ago

    Most enjoyable! I always learn something new when reading your hubs I love it. I knew something of St. Partick but you dug in deeper into things I did not know thank you.

  • De Greek profile image

    De Greek 

    10 years ago from UK

    Was he ever married?

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    10 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Carolina, Thank you for your comment.

  • carolina muscle profile image

    carolina muscle 

    10 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

    Beautifully detailed hub. St Patrick is one of my favorite historical characters!!

    Erin Go Bragh!!

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    10 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Unchained Grace, Bail up, dohn and Hello, Thanks so much for your comments. Bail up, thanks for that extra information that I didn't know.

  • Hello, hello, profile image

    Hello, hello, 

    10 years ago from London, UK

    Thank you, Pamela, for a wonderful hub, well research and put together. I enjoyed reading it.

  • dohn121 profile image


    10 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

    What a wonderful job you did writing and constructing this, Pamela! I'm ashamed to say that I didn't know about Saint Patrick until now. Thank you for filling me in. He truly was remarkable. I can see why he is still celebrated almost 1600 years after his passing. Amazing.

  • Bail Up ! profile image

    Bail Up ! 

    10 years ago

    Everything good in Ireland comes in three, Three is Ireland's magic number. Hence the Shamrock. Crone, Mother and Virgin. Love, Valour and Wit. Faith, Hope and Charity. Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Nice detailed hub.

  • Unchained Grace profile image

    Unchained Grace 

    10 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    OK. I get to be first! I never knew all this about St. Patrick. This has been a real eye-opener for me and I love learning new things. You obviously spent serious time and effort researching this. You really put it together here! Thank you and I'm real glad I stopped by!


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