When people here the name st. patrick they would most likely think of a Leprechaun with a green Jacket and hat holding a four leaf clover from Ireland. But really, St. Patrick was born, not in Ireland, but in Britain around AD 387. Well, actually, he wasn’t called St. Patrick at the time, or even Patrick, but was referred to as Maewyn Succat. And when he was growing up St. patrick was far from a saint in fact he was considered a pagan until he was 16 when he was taken into slavery by a group of Irish marauders that attacked his village.
Patrick was then sold to his master whom he served for 6 years it was then that he became a Christian One day he heard a compelling voice tell him in his sleep to leave his master, and find a ship that awaited him. He fled to the coast of Ireland and eventually made it back to his home. He then studied in the church and stayed there for 12 years that was when he decided that what god wants him to do is to convert the pagans of Ireland to Christianity. Eventually he adopted his new Christian name, Patricius, or Patrick as it is said today nd returned to Ireland after being appointed a Bishop.
Patrick was very successful at converting people, that upset the Celtic Druids who had him arrested several times, but he managed to escape each arrest. Patrick traveled through Ireland, establishing monasteries, schools, and churches throughout the land. Eventually Patrick returned to where he had once been a slave, to pay his ransom to his former master, and to put his “blessing” upon him. Even though he had been treated cruelly Patrick didn’t hold a grudge against him.
As Patrick approached his master’s old home he saw that it was on fire. He was told by many people that in a fit, his old master gathered all of his valuables into his mansion, set them on fire, and threw himself into the fire telling everyone that “his pride could not take the thought of being killed by his former slave”. There are also many legends surrounding st. patrick saying that he raised people from the dead. Patrick converted people in Ireland for 30 years. Afterwards, he retired, and then died on March 17th, 461 AD.
He was not declared a saint when Patrick died, that didn’t happen until the 12th century. He would have been declared a saint by acclamation, and his sainthood approved by a local bishop soon after he died. St. Patrick’s Day was originally a Catholic holiday, and still is, but has also made it was into a holiday for everyone to celebrate being celebrated by non-lrish, non-Catholics, and ironically even atheists. The tradition of pinching people that didn’t wear green is an American tradition that started in the 1700s.
People thought wearing green made them invisible to leprechauns, who they thought would pinch people for not wearing green. So when you think of St. Patrick, and you imagine a leprechaun in a green Jacket, hat, pipe, clover, and pot of gold try to remember that he was not a man who devoted 30 years of his life to teaching and helping the Irish. We think of the color green not a man that suffered six years of slavery to preach his beliefs. And has turned this holiday about him into celebrating leprechauns and wearing green st. patrick’s day esssay.
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