St. Patrick’s Day by Tom Dowell

St. Patrick’s Day has been observed as a religious festival in Ireland for over a thousand years, this it was only recognized as a celebration of Irish culture and heritage in the 1970’s.  The day is name in honor of St. Patrick the patron saint of Ireland, who has been credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland. There are multiple origin stories for St. Patrick, but:
 
Most sources agree that St. Patrick’s actual name was Maewyn Succat. They also agree that Maewyn was kidnapped and sold into slavery at age 16 and, to help him endure his enslavement, he turned to God.
 
Six years after his captivity began, St. Patrick escaped from slavery to France, where he became a priest, and then the second Bishop to Ireland. He spent the next 30 years establishing schools, churches, and monasteries across the country. He brought Christianity widespread acceptance amongst the pagan indigenous peoples.
 
It is thought that St. Patrick used a shamrock as a metaphor for the Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), showing how three individual units could be part of the same body. His parishioners began wearing shamrocks to his church services. Today, “the wearing of the green” on St. Patrick’s Day represents spring, shamrocks, and Ireland.