Hey everyone! Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! Are you wearing your green?
As someone who can trace my ancestors directly back to Ireland, St. Patrick’s Day has always been a popular holiday on one side of my family. But as I was thinking about it, I realized, how much do I even know about St. Patrick’s Day? I’ve read the legend a long, long time ago about St. Patrick himself, but I decided I’d look up some facts, both about the Saint and the day!
So without further ado, here are the top five most interesting facts I found concerning everything St. Patrick’s Day!
Fact #1: Leprechauns are likely based off Celtic fairies. The ancient Celtics believed in fairies, little beings that could use magic either for good or evil. In some of their folktales, they believed that the leprechauns were cranky fairies, tasked with mending the shoes of other fairies.
Fact #2: The Shamrock was a sacred plant to the ancient Celtics. To them, it symbolized the arrival of spring. According to legend, when Saint Patrick came as a missionary to Ireland, he used the shamrock as a visual example to teach the Celtic people about the Holy Trinity.
Fact #3: The first St. Patrick’s Day Parade was held before the United States was its own country. On March 17, 1601, in what is now known as St. Augustine, Florida, Spanish colonists celebrated St. Patrick’s day by holding a parade, organized by their Irish vicar, Ricardo Artur.
Fact #4: Saint Patrick wasn’t actually Irish. He was born in Britain, to wealthy British parents. However, he was kidnapped at the age of sixteen, where he was brought to Ireland and served as a shepherd for six or seven years before finally escaping back to England. It was then that he decided to become a priest and go back to bring the Gospel to the people of Ireland.
Fact #5: “Patrick” was not actually St. Patrick’s birth name. Patrick (or Patricus, as it would have been known in his day) is just the name he took on at the time of his ordination to the ministry. His birth name is believed to be “Maewyn Succat”.
I hope you enjoyed these St. Patrick’s Day facts! The last one really surprised me, but it made sense with my small knowledge of medieval church traditions! Did any of these facts surprise you? Do you know of any facts I should have picked instead?
I pray you all have a wonderful St. Patrick’s Day, and always remember the One he served, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. God bless! ~ Kay Leigh
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