It’s Saint Patrick’s Day and people from around the world, from Boston to Belfast, will be celebrating Irish culture. But what do we really know about this holy man? Was he real? Let’s find the facts about Ireland’s patron saint.
Patrick was real. He was born in Britain (probably in modern Wales) around 386 AD. We think that his real name was Maewyn and that he adopted the name Patrick later in life. When he was 16 years old, Maewyn was captured by Irish pirates and sold into slavery. He spent the next six years tending sheep, during which time he became deeply religious.
In 408 AD, Maewyn managed to escape and returned home to Britain. He believed that God wanted him to return to Ireland to convert the island to Christianity. This belief he shared with Pope Celestine I who made him Bishop of the Irish and sent him on his mission. His task wasn’t easy and Patrick (as he now was) was imprisoned many times. Still, he eventually succeeded and baptised countless thousands of believers.
Saint Patrick is credited with making Christianity Ireland’s main religion, which he did by adopting some of the dominant pagan faith (the Celtic Cross unites the Christian cross with the Sun god’s emblem). It’s also said that he banished all snakes from Ireland but this is not likely to be true – Ireland never had snakes in the first place.
Patrick is said to have died in 492 AD. If this is true, he would have been 106 years old – an amazing lifespan for a man of the time.
However you are celebrating it, have a fantastic Saint Patrick’s Day, from all of us here at Education Quizzes.