A Brief History Of St. Patrick’s Day
History cannot say for one hundred percent certainty who the real Saint Patrick was, but he is believed to have been Maewyn Succat, born around 385 AD. Succat, baptized Patricius (or Patrick), was the son of a Roman nobleman, and was born in Scotland. He was kidnapped from his hometown and taken as a slave into Ireland around the age of 16. He escaped to Gaul, at the age of 22, and returned to Scotland. There he followed his father and grandfather into the Celtic Church and later he became a missionary who returned to Ireland.
To learn about the man behind the holiday, one can read Confessio and Epistola, letters he wrote. The first is described as Saint Patrick’s spiritual autobiography. The second is his attempt to right the mistreatment of Irish Christians at the hands of the British. These two works, however, do not teach us enough about the man to know what is true and what is fancy.
Because so little is written about Saint Patrick, there is much that remains unknown about the man. The folklore surrounding him, however, abounds. He is believed to have raised people from the dead. The fact that there are no snakes in Ireland is also attributed to the man, although snakes have never been indigenous to the country. Whatever the folklore, Patrick is said to have lived in Ireland as a missionary for thirty years establishing monasteries and schools wherever he went. He also converted people to Christianity throughout the country.
One of the stories surrounding Saint Patrick is that he won pagan Ireland to Christ by his explanation of the Trinity using a shamrock. His taught, as the story goes, that God is one being, with three separate personalities – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. As a teaching tool, he plucked a shamrock from the ground and showed the pagans how the shamrock is one plant with three separate leaves.
Historical accounts say that Saint Patrick died on March 17, 460 AD. Bishop Patrick has been liturgically celebrated as a saint soon after his death, despite the fact he has never been formally canonized. It was also around his death that St. Patrick’s Day was first celebrated. Although there is no proof that Saint Patrick was associated with the Catholic Church, they have embraced him as their own.
March 17 has been celebrated as Saint Patrick’s Day, many believe, since his death. As Irish people have moved out of their homeland, they have taken their holidays and celebrations with them. Of course, Ireland has the most elaborate St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, but they can be found around the world wherever there are large populations of Irish people.
In the United States, Boston, Massachusetts hosted the first St. Patrick’s Day celebration in 1737. Since that time, large cities throughout America have been adding yearly parades, often coloring their food and beer green. Not to be outdone, in 1965 Chicago, Illinois began coloring the Chicago River green each year to celebrate this Irish-born holiday.
St. Patrick’s Day gives us all an excuse to have some fun and eat delicious comfort foods.
Just thinking about corned beef, cabbage & soda bread give me goose bumps. Those classic Irish dishes are among some of my favorite but it’s fun when you can find new recipes that make your tummy happy.
Since St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner I thought it would be nice to put together some recipes and crafts and create a kindle ebook to celebrate.
You’ll find delicious Irish food along with a bunch of crafts that your family will enjoy creating together.
And remember, with all Kindle ebooks, you don’t need a Kindle to download them. Amazon makes it easy to put right on your computer, laptop, or other e-reader or device. And the price is right, too!
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