Growing up I always thought the true meaning of St. Patrick’s Day had to do with parades and drinking. Because, really that’s what society has turned St. Patrick’s Day into…at least in our country. A few years ago, our pastor’s wife told us a little bit about St. Patrick and his life and why it’s such an important day in Ireland.
Saint Patrick’s Day or the Feast of Saint Patrick is a cultural and religious holiday celebrated annually on March 17th which is the date Saint Patrick died. The day commemorates Saint Patrick and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland. Celebrations usually include public parades, festivals and the wearing of green attire or shamrocks. Christians also attend church services and the Lenten restrictions on eating and drinking alcohol are lifted for the day.
Saint Patrick was born in Britain into a wealthy family. At the age of 16 he was kidnapped by Irish raiders and taken to Ireland to live as a slave. He was told in a dream by God to flee by boat back to Britain. Upon his return to Britain he studied to become a priest.
He returned to Ireland to “Christianize” the Irish from their native polytheism; which is a religion that believes in multiple deities.
Saint Patrick often used the shamrock to explain the trinity to the people of Ireland. After 30 years of evangelism in Ireland, Saint Patrick died on March 17 in the year 461 AD.