St. Patrick’s Day is a day of remembrance and celebration for the
Patron Saint who died on March 17 in the year 461!
Who was St. Patrick?
St. Patrick was born around 385 AD.
He may be thought of as Irish now, but his exact birthplace is unknown.
In his teens, he was captured by pirates and taken to Ireland, where he was put to work as a herdsman. After six years, he managed to escape and possibly fled back to his home.
He became a Christian priest before returning to Ireland as a missionary.
He spent the next 30 years establishing schools, churches, and monasteries across the country.
St. Patrick was later appointed as successor to St Palladius, the first bishop of Ireland.
Did you know?
The flag of St Patrick is a red saltire on a white background.
When the 1800 Act of Union joined Great Britain and Ireland, the saltire was added to the British flag to create the Union flag which is still used by the United Kingdom.
The Union flag combines the flags of the St George’s Cross, St Andrew’s Saltire and St Patrick’s Saltire.
Why green (and not blue)?
Wearing green has now become associated with St Patrick’s Day, even though the saint was originally associated with the color blue. It is thought that the shift happened for several reasons – Ireland’s nickname is the ‘Emerald Isle’, there is green in the Irish flag and the shamrock, Ireland’s national symbol, is also green.
According to Irish tradition, green is the color of the Catholics and orange is the color of the Protestants. On the Irish flag, these colors are separated by white, which is symbolic of peace between the two.