Roman Britain (present-day Great Britain)
|Died||c. 17 March 461|
Saul, Dál Fiatach, Ulaid, Gaelic Ireland (present-day Northern Ireland)
|Venerated in||Catholic Church|
Eastern Orthodox Church
|Major shrine||Armagh, Northern Ireland|
Glastonbury Abbey, England
|Feast||17 March (Saint Patrick's Day)|
|Attributes||Patron; Holding a shamrock; carrying a cross, serpent, harp|
|Patronage||Ireland, Nigeria, Montserrat, Archdiocese of New York, Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark, Boston, Rolla, Missouri, Loíza, Puerto Rico, Murcia (Spain), Clann Giolla Phádraig, engineers, paralegals, Archdiocese of Melbourne; invoked against snakes, sins|
Saint Patrick (about 402 - March 17, probably 491 or 493) is the patron saint of Ireland. He was born in a village in Roman Britain. Saint Patrick came from a Christian family. He was the son of Calpornius, who was a deacon. According to the autobiographical Confessio of Patrick, when he was about sixteen years old, he was captured by Irish pirates. They took him from his home in Britain and sold him as a slave in Ireland. His work was to take care of animals. He lived there for six years and learned the local language. He then escaped and returned to his family.
After becoming a cleric, he returned to northern and western Ireland as a missionary. Because he knew the language he could preach to the people. He also married couples when the king prohibited it. He brought Christianity to Ireland. He converted many pagans to Christianity. He also challenged many of their leaders and druids such as Aodhan the Brave also known as Chief Aodhan. St.Patrick eventually converted Chief Aodhan and they worked together to convert many other pagans.
Saint Patrick's Bell[change | change source]
There is a bell in the National Museum of Ireland that was made around the time of Saint Patrick's life. There is no evidence that Saint Patrick owned the bell but the Irish have believed for 1400 years that the bell belonged to Saint Patrick. One of the kings of Ulster who was the high king of Ireland at the time had a beautiful cover made out of gold and gems to preserve the bell. The names of the bishops of Ireland were engraved on the cover. The style of the letters on the cover were used to make the first typewriters. It is believed that the bell was rung by Saint Patrick to let people know it was time for church.
Saint Patrick and the snakes[change | change source]
There are no snakes in Ireland but there is a legend that at the time of Saint Patrick there were lots of snakes and he chased them all into the Irish Sea. Some say that this legend came to be because pagans had tattoos of snakes and Saint Patrick got rid of the pagans by teaching Christianity and therefore drove out the snakes from Ireland.
Holy Trinity and the Shamrock[change | change source]
- St. Patrick is credited with teaching the Irish about the doctrine of the Holy Trinity. He used a three-leafed shamrock as an illustration of "three-in-one". For this reason, shamrocks are a central symbol for St. Patrick’s Day.
References[change | change source]
- "Saints by Cause". Retrieved 25 August 2006.
- X.—An Inquiry as to the Birthplace of St. Patrick. By J.H. TURNER, M.A. p.268. Read before the Society, 8 January 1872. Archaeologica Scotica pp. 261–284. Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, Volume 5, 1890.
- De Paor glosses it as "[probably near] Carlisle" and Thomas argues at length for the areas of Birdoswald, twenty miles (32 km) east of Carlisle on Hadrian's Wall. There is a Roman town called Bannaventa in Northamptonshire, but this is likely too far from the sea. See De Paor, pp. 88 & 96
- *De Paor, Liam (1993). Saint Patrick's World: The Christian Culture of Ireland's Apostolic Age. Dublin: Four Courts Press. ISBN 1-85182-144-9.
- St. Patrick's Day Facts: Snakes, a Slave, and a Saint National Geographic Retrieved 2011-02-10