Saint Patrick’s Day

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St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated on March 17 to honor Patrick, Ireland’s patron saint. Almost 1500 years ago the patron saint and national hero of Ireland was born to a Gaelic family who had migrated to Britain. For 16 years, Patrick lived a normal life as the son of a prosperous landowner and magistrate until he was captured and forced into slavery. Patrick spent 6 years herding sheep. He escaped and returned to Ireland to do missionary work.

History reports that he used shamrock leaves to explain the meaning of the Trinity. It is also stated that he drove snakes from Ireland, banishing the venomous serpents by beating his drum. St. Patrick died on March 17, 493 after bringing the Christian faith to Ireland. 

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As the Irish emigrated around the world, they took the St. Pat’s celebration with them. The Irish heritage has had a profound influence on our nation. The St. Patrick’s Day custom came to America in 1737. That was the first year St. Patrick’s Day was publicly celebrated in this country, in Boston.