Saint Patrick’s Day is almost here and we are sure that you have already checked out all the events that are going to take place in our beloved Dublin. Every March 17th, not only Irish people, but people all over the world, commemorate the patron saint of Ireland in a huge festival of celebrations. However, do you know who St. Patrick was?
The story of a man with another name
Firstly, his real name wasn’t Patrick but Maewyn Succat and he wasn’t Irish but most likely was Welsh or Scottish. Yes, he was born in a little town in Britain during the time of the Roman occupation there in 387. His father, Calpurnius, was a Christian and officer in the Roman army but at that time Maewyn wasn´t as religious as his father.
When he was 16 years old he was kidnapped by a group of pirates who sold him as a slave. He spent the next six years of his life as a slave in Ireland, where he learnt the Gaelic language and the customs of the Irish people. One day he managed to escape and moved to France where he became interested in Christianity and became a priest.
Maewyn decided to return to Ireland to preach Catholicism. He started to evangelise to its inhabitants, to build churches and became very popular, under the name of Patrick. Many legends are told about him, like he was the one to expel the snakes out of Ireland, and that he used a shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity. He stayed in Ireland almost three decades, until his death on March 17, 461.
A festivity around the world
Over the years, Saint Patrick has become the patron saint of the Emerald Isle and its inhabitants, and every March 17th this great figure is commemorated by celebrating parades in every corner of the island. However, this festivity has also spread to other cities in the world like New York, Boston, Chicago, Buenos Aires, Toronto and Sydney, among many others. Furthermore, the most important monuments around the world like the Coliseum in Rome, the Great Wall of China, the statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, are illuminated in the emerald green colour in honour of this celebration.