The History of St. Patrick and St. Patrick's Day
I was raised as a Roman Catholic and while attending a catholic school as a young child I recall being told that St. Patrick purged the snakes out of Ireland. I couldn't understand how some getting rid of snakes made him a Saint. So, I did some research when I was older and seeing the question today about why we celebrate St. Patrick's Day it brought me back. So, here I am to share my knowledge.
St. Patrick who has come to be the popular Saint was born in Scotland, his parents were Calpurnius and Conchessa. When he was 14 years old he was kidnapped during a raid, brought to Ireland as a slave. He was made to herd and tend to the sheeps. During his captivity he turned to God in prayer. it was said that he wrote the following, " The love of God and his fear grew in me more and more, as did the faith, and my was rosed so that every single day I have said as many as hundred prayers and in the night nearly the same. I prayed in the mountain even before dawn. I felt no hurt from the snow or ice, or rain.
His captivity lasted until he escaped at twenty years. When he had a dream from God in which he was shown to leave Ireland by following the coast. When he did that he met some sailors who took him back to Britian where he found his family..
He had another dream where the people of Ireland were calling out to him to come back, to walk with them.
He began to study for the the priesthood and was ordained by St. Germanus who he served with for many years. Late Patrick was to become a Bishop and his first duty sent him to take the Gospel to Ireland where he began preaching the Gospel throughout Ireland. He and his followers preached and converted over thousands and began building churches all over the country. He converted Kings, their families and entire towns converted to Christianity when they heard Patrick's message. This continued for 40 years. He performed many miracles. He traveled for years, in poverty, enduring hardships and died on March 17th in Saul where he build the first church. Patrick was a humble man, gentle, is love and total devotion to and trust in God was remarkable.
Many wonder why St. Patrick's Day is symbolized with the Shamrock, a three leafed plant. Patrick used the shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity, the 3 leaves represented The Father - God, The Son - Jesus and The Holy Spirit.
The true reason we celebrate St. Patrick's Day is to honor the man who unselfishly gave his life to preach and spread the word of God.
There are many different versions of his life, some interpreted years and centuries after his passing. I like the simple version, that he was a peaceful, gentle soul who spread of God and brought Christianity to Ireland. He has is one of my favorite Saints because by sharing the word of God, he many centuries before took part in bringing my faith to me. Many of my ancestors come from Ireland which makes St. Patrick's preaching part of my life, of who I am because some of those ancestors, brought their beliefs here when they were Irish immigrants looking for a better life in America.