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The Real History of St. Patrick’s Day

February 26, 2019
By Anesa McGregor , Emmetsburg News

To many I'm sure this editorial sounds kind of lame. How many in the area don't know the real history behind St. Pat's Day.

I never really thought about it. It was just another day to celebrate. Drinking green beer, wearing green necklaces and buttons that said "Kiss Me I'm Irish." The last one is extremely funny considering I don't have an ounce of Irish in me.

Irish or not, I have celebrated with the best of them never really understanding what I was celebrating. I decided to delve into history and discover the real history behind the celebration.

Turns out St. Patrick wasn't even Irish. He was born in Banna Venta Berniae, sometime in the late 300s A.D. in Roman Britain. His name wasn't even Patrick - it was Maewyn Succat. He didn't really care for this name and some point in his lifetime chose to be known as Patricius.

Patrick wasn't much of a believer even though his father was a deacon in the early Christian church, however; when Irish pirates capture and enslave you as a shepherd, one learns to convert.

After escaping from the Irish, Patrick was captured by the French and this was where he learned about monasticism and upon his release, he continued his studies.

At sometime in his life, Patrick claimed to of had a vision that told him to bring the Christian faith to the people of Ireland. He wasn't welcome and left for the smaller coastal islands.

He gained followers and moved back to the mainland and baptized thousands of people into this new religion. He ordained new priest, guided women into nunhood, converted princes of the region, and aided in the formation of over 300 churches.

Folklore tells us, Patrick banished all the snakes form Ireland, as wonderful as that sounds (especially to me), I discovered there never were any snakes on the island to start with.

Patrick is also thought to be responsible for making the shamrock popular. According to stories, he used the three leafed plant to teach the concept of the Christian Holy Trinity. The people of Ireland already had a triple pagen or druidic deities and the number three was highly regarded. It wasn't hard for Patrick to use the shamrock to help win favor with the Irish.

I am going to continue looking at the history of St. Pat's Day throughout the month of March to see what other interesting facts I can share with you.



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