The Story of Saint Patrick’s Day

Saint Patrick holding a shamrock

Saint Patrick’s Day is celebrated on March 17th, but do you know why?

St. Patrick is well-known as the patron saint of Ireland. Even though he was not born in Ireland, he became a part of Irish heritage because of his work across the country.

While growing up in Britain, Patrick was kidnapped by pirates and he was sold as a slave in Ireland. He was there for about six years when he dreamed of having seen God. People say God told Patrick how to escape from slavery.

After escaping to Britain, Patrick went to France and studied in a monastery.  He was there for twelve years when he had another dream: Irish were calling him to go back to Ireland and tell them about God.

Saint Patrick's Cathedral - Dublin Ireland
Saint Patrick’s Cathedral – Dublin Ireland

Patrick had traveled for twenty years across Ireland setting up schools, churches and monasteries.

According to legend, Saint Patrick used the three-leaved shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity (Father, Son and the Holy Spirit) to Irish pagans.

Saint Patrick died on March 17th, that’s why Saint Patrick’s Day is celebrated on this date. Celebrations generally involve public parades and festivals.  People usually wear green and a shamrock.

Saint Patrick’s Day Symbols

Saint Patrick symbols - Leprechaun, Ireland, Gold, Shamrock

Shamrock is the name of many different kinds of three-leafed clovers that you can find in Ireland.

Leprechaun means Little Body in Irish and it came from the Irish word “luchorpan”.

The Celtic Cross was created by Saint Patrick according to legend. He added the sun to the Christian Cross. The Sun is a powerful symbol of Ireland and this shows how Saint Patrick tried to combine old beliefs with the new beliefs, respecting everyone.

Green became the color of Ireland in 19th century. The country has a beautiful landscape and green became the national color of Saint Patrick’s Day.

Ireland - Hore Abbey landscape
Ireland – Hore Abbey landscape

Captain English has great activities to learn more about this date and have fun at the same time.