The Real St. Patrick

Chuck Banner | March 17th, 2017

On March 17th, people everywhere become Irish for a day as they celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. But many people don’t know much about the real St. Patrick. If you ask the average person who St. Patrick was, you will likely be told that he was an Irish man who chased the snakes out of Ireland and became a saint. Neither of these “facts” are true, but the real Patrick had a more interesting life than his myths suggest.

The most famous of Irish saints, and the patron saint of Ireland, was not even Irish. He was born in Roman Britain, which would not have included Ireland, but would have been in what is now England. His father was from an important Roman family, and his mother was related to St. Martin of Tours, who was born in what is now Hungary.

witnify.com
witnify.com

Patrick never even saw Ireland until he was kidnapped at age 16 by Irish pirates and sold into slavery in Ireland. His master was Druid priest, and Patrick was put to work tending sheep.

Though his family was Christian, Patrick had never been interested in religion. He first became religious during his captivity, which he saw as a test of his faith, and he decided to convert the Irish to Christianity after a series of visions told him to do so.

Patrick had to escape his enslavement to achieve his goals. To do so, he managed to convince a group of sailors to let him sail away with them. High drama ensued, as the crew had to abandon their boat on the coast of France after three days. Patrick wandered over 200 miles in seven weeks, and eventually found some of his family.

After becoming free, he set about his goal of converting the Irish. He achieved success because he did not require the Irish to abandon all of their pagan rituals. He even let them continue to believe in their original gods, but he told the Irish these gods were actually demons. He also invented the Celtic cross, which combined Irish sun-worship with the Christian cross symbol.

As for the famous snake story, there is no way that it could have happened. Ireland is one of several countries that has never had snakes. This is due to Ireland’s long separation, first by glaciers and then the sea, from mainland Europe. Scholars believe that the snake story may be purely allegorical. Snakes are symbols of evil to Christians and have been linked to pagan practices. The eradication of snakes from Ireland may be a metaphor for the eradication of paganism.

Though we can’t thank Patrick for ridding a country of snakes, we can, in a roundabout way, thank him for giving rise to a lot of fantastic parades and parties all over the world every March. If you enjoy these festivities, raise a glass of your green beer to the Roman Britain slave who brought a new religion to Ireland.

Next Article
  • Pig Farmers Say Marijuana Pig Feed Is Better

    Some farmers have a very interesting take on the progression of growing cannabis and the growing legalization of marijuana around the United States. Many believe it is the perfect crop to be commercialized and used in their animal feed - too keep them happy and relaxed! And well if you...

    Read More
  • Telegraph Invented Due To Heartbreak

    The inventor of the telegraph Samuel Morse had quite a tough life that was filled with numerous disappointments and this may really have been one of the reasons he ended up inventing the telegraph. Samuel Morse was born 225 years ago and is known around the world for having invented...

    Read More
  • Colorful Honey Created Naturally By Candy Eating Bees

    A couple of beekeepers in northeastern France were left scratching their heads in confusion when their bees started to produce thick blue and green honey completely naturally. The bees from their hives were found producing honey in odd shades of blue and green - something that was completely unheard of and never seen before. [caption...

    Read More
  • The Sheepdogs That Protect The Little Penguins

    On an Australian Island, there was a strong and vibrant colony of little penguins - that was until the foxes came and nearly ate them all up. Luckily for the little penguins they had a farmer on their side who decided to come up with an amazing way to protect them, in fact, it is...

    Read More
  • The Grueling Gaokao Exam Is The Toughest In The World

    China’s college entrance exam known as the Gaokao is thought to be one of the toughest examinations in the whole world. If you want a spot in one of the 2,200 Chinese universities then you need to ace your Gaokao exam. And it goes much deeper than that, sure the exam decides the university ranking...

    Read More
  • Tiny Sweat Bees Will Try To Feed Off Your Tears

    Recently doctors treating a Taiwanese woman for a swollen eye were shocked to find that she had over four little bees living in her, under her eyelid and feeding off her tears. These tiny little bees are known as sweat bees and are only around 3 millimeters long, so are small enough to fit under...

    Read More
  • Incredible Power Of The Mantis Shrimp

    Mantis shrimp have quickly become a creature championed on the internet due to the revelation of its optical superpowers. The mantis shrimp is able to see over 100,000 colors and also is able to see what is known as circularly polarized light - a capability that no other creature can do. ...

    Read More
  • The Time When Heineken Bottles Were Building Blocks

    Alfred Heineken after visited the Caribbeans in 1963 and finding the beaches littered with Heineken bottles, decided to amend his design and make the bottle's square. His aim was to allow the bottle to function as a brick also & let people use them to build homes in impoverished countries. ...

    Read More