The day is upon us. The Chicago River has turned an unnatural shade of green, frenzies of green tattered, alcohol consumers have lined the streets, shamrocks, orange beards, and leprechaun outfits are all in full swing….and yet, there is more to this story that you may not already know. Here is a fascinating little tale about St. Patrick himself.
St. Patrick wasn’t even Irish! Yeah. Swallow down that pint of truth. Despite being the patron saint of Ireland, St Patrick was born in Britain. At 16, he was kidnapped by traders and made a slave. I am not making this up I swear. He was to tend sheep for the next seven years. It was only then that he turned towards God after being so against Him as a child. At the age of 20, St. Patrick escaped and became a priest, later to become a bishop. 15 years later, after leaving his captors, he was tasked to go to Ireland to convert river dancing, Celtic pagans to Christianity. He used a shamrock to symbolise the Holy Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The shamrock later became the unofficial nation flower of Ireland, as we all know.
Random fact, apparently St. Patrick has been accredited for driving the snakes out of Ireland, but science suggests that water logged Ireland never had any snakes to begin with. Who knew?! Also, he never really liked the colour green. His vestments were in fact blue…but let’s just forget we ever heard that one.
Reassuringly for anyone who feels guilty indulging too heavily on a Saint’s day, it is believed St Patrick said everyone should have more than just a swig of whiskey on his feast day. He apparently chastised an innkeeper who served him too little of the drink. Way to go Patrick! St Patrick is thought to have died on his feast day, 17 March, in 461AD. It is a national holiday in Ireland, and on the island of Montserrat in the Caribbean, which was founded by Irish refugees. This I didn’t know.
So there you go. All the little tidbits you’ll need to sound cool while drinking yourself into a night you’re sure to forget. Happy St. Patricks Day!!!11!1!