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The Life Of Saint Patrick & St. Patrick's Day

Saint Patrick's Day – An Irish Celebration

Saint Patricks Day is a worldwide celebration of Irish culture which takes place every year on the 17th of March, and 2020 is no different. The whole world will celebrate Ireland and historic landmarks with ''light up'' green in honour of Ireland and the Irish people. This day was not always a celebration of the Irish people, but it was a celebration of Irish Christianity and a day of thanksgiving to God, for sending his servant Patrick among the Irish people. The people of Ireland celebrate Saint Patricks day in different ways, some take to the streets to join in the parade and then go to the pub to enjoy the day with friends. Some go to mass and celebrate the day with great love and gratitude to God and others will climb Croagh Patrick (weather permitting). However you intend to celebrate, we wish you all a blessed and safe Saint Patricks Day. So who was Saint Patrick & why do the people of Ireland love him so much?

About Saint Patrick

Saint Patrick was a nobleman, in fact, his name bears witness to this as the name Patrick is derived from a Latin word that means nobleman. We know a lot about Saint Patrick because of two of his writings, but most notably, his memoir named ''The Confession''. In the very first sentence of this facsinating memoir, Saint Patrick says '' My Name is Patrick, I am a sinner, a simple country person, and the least among all believers''. Patricks humility is evident from the beginning. He recognises that God often uses the most unlearned followers to spread the message of salvation – as he does often throughout the bible. The memoir continues in a tone of humility, thanksgiving and love of God. It speaks of overcoming trials and tribulations, and about various visions that revealed a special mission of mercy on the island of Ireland.

Although his father was a deacon, it is clear that Patrick fell into sin before he was captured in a raid by a group called the ''Picts'', who were known to unmercifully rob and steal whoever and whatever they wished. He was 16 years old when he was kidnapped and he became a slave. He was brought to Co. Antrim, where he minded sheep at night. The distress of his captivity turned his heart towards God, who lifted him from despair. Saint Patrick wrote in his memoir ''After I arrived in Ireland, I tended sheep every day, and I prayed frequently during the day. More and more the love of God increased, and my sense of awe before God. Faith grew, and my spirit was moved, so that in one day I would pray up to one hundred times, and at night perhaps the same. I even remained in the woods and on the mountain, and I would rise to pray before dawn in snow and ice and rain. I never felt the worse for it, and I never felt lazy – as I realise now, the spirit was burning in me at that time ''. It was at this time he recieved his first mystical experience that told him he had fasted well and he would soon return to Britian. He again received another mystical experience of a voice directing him to leave the farm he was working on and to travel 200 miles to a ship, where he would return home.

The Voice of the Irish people

Upon returning to Britian, Patrick ventured off on many evangelical trips, some of which seen him held against his will. When his parents received him home, they begged him to stay and no longer leave the safety of home. It was around this time Patrick had a dream in which he was handed a letter by a man named Victorcus who was coming from the Irish sea. He handed the saint a letter and the beginning read ''the voice of the Irish people'' – as he read the letter, he could hear the voices of the Irish crying out “We beg you, holy boy, to come and walk again among us”. Patrick later praised God for allowing him to go to Ireland to convert multitudes of people. Another writing of Saint Patrick named “A letter to the soldiers in Coroticus”, showed the extend at which Irish Christians were persecuted on the island of Ireland at the time. Patrick describes the appalling treatment of these beautiful Catholics suffered so severely from. The letter directly highlights the barriers and hardships Saint Patrick suffered throughout his time in Ireland.

Saint Patrick – Patron Saint of Ireland

It took Saint Patrick 40 years to plant the seed of faith large enough to convert the country. He was a worthy servant of God, who overcame numerous obstacles to convey the message of the gospel. He put God in first place in his life and dedicated everything to showing love and mercy to his neighbour. He was a nobleman with a righteous character. Ireland celebrates the memory of Saint Patrick and thanks God for his writings, which are currently housed in Trinity College in Dublin.

Legends associated with Saint Patrick

The Irish are very lucky to have the beautiful writings from ''The Confessor'' but there are many oral legends which have been passed down throughout the ages. These beautiful legends of Saint Patrick may or may not be true, however, one miracle of the pigs appearing when he prayed to God is mentioned in his memoir. We must think if he can almost totally convert the pagan island of Ireland in 40 years work, is it possible that some of these miracles are true? Here are some of the miracles and legends which have been passed to us throughout the years.

  • A document named the hagiography (document describing the life of the saints from the 12th century) describes how Saint Patrick rose 33 people from the dead.

  • It is believed that based on some of his prophecies he knew information regarding the future and fate of Ireland.

  • Croagh Patrick ( A famous Irish mountain in Co. Mayo) is believed to be where Saint Patrick spent the 40 days of lent.

  • This mountain is also the place where he banished every snake from Ireland, after being biten.

Saint Patricks promises to Ireland

Saint Patrick made three promises to Ireland before he passed away. The prophecies are well-known in Ireland itself, but are not widely known by everyone all over the world. They were:

  • No barbarian nation should ever have rule over them, that all Irish would be received on the last day of judgment, even if they were to repent in the last days of their lives.

  • He promised that the Irish would not be shut up– even in hell.

  • The last promise he made to Ireland was that seven years before the last day the sea shall submerge Eirin in one inundation.

The Shamrock

The Shamrock is seen all over the world on Saint Patricks Day. It is believed that Patrick used the Shamrock to teach the pagans about the Holy Trinity – The Father, the Son & the Holy Spirit. The Shamrock is the reason the world lights up in green. Although Saint Patrick wore blue – the green clover and the 'Emerald Isle' set the pace.

See our Shamrock Jewellery by clicking here.

Saint Patricks Prayer - Breastplate

Saint Patricks Day – A billion dollar business

Saint Patricks Day was once a strict day of observance on the Irish calendar. Public houses wpould have closed on this day and the people fasted and consumed no alcohol – this was written into law. Ireland realized that the day could attract tourists to the country and lifted the laws to allow tourists to celebrate with the Irish. While the day is still observed as a day of strict observance of many on the Irish calender the day is now widely known as a celebration of Ireland from people of all different faiths countries and backgrounds. It is one of the busiest trade days for pubs and restaurants in Ireland and abroad. In the USA, it is expected that this March 17th will hit a record breaking spend of 5.9 billion dollars in pubs and restaurants. The only billion dollar business to ever be built around a nation's heritage.

View our webcams here to see the parade this Saint Patricks Day.

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