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St. Patrick’s Day and History

By Mavis Brown

Each year on March 17, the Irish and the Irish-at-heart around the world celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. What started as a religious feast day for the patron saint of Ireland has become an world-wide festival embracing Irish culture with parades, dancing, special foods and a whole ton of green.

St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, is one of Christianity’s most widely known figures. However, for all his celebrity, his life remains quite a mystery. The majority of the stories traditionally associated with St. Patrick, including the famous account of his banishing all the snakes from Ireland, are false, the outcome of hundreds of years of exaggerated storytelling.

Some things we know for sure about St. Patrick are that he often used the shamrock to describe the Holy Trinity and entire kingdoms were eventually converted after hearing his message. Patrick preached and converted all of Ireland for 40 years. He worked many miracles and wrote of his love for God in Confessions. After years of living in poverty, traveling and enduring much suffering he died March 17, 461. He died at Saul, where he had built the first Irish church. He is believed to be buried in Down Cathedral, Downpatrick. His grave was marked in 1990 with a granite stone.

sources: http://www.history.com/topics/st-patricks-day

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