Green; Shamrock; Pinch; Leprechaun. What do these words have in common? That's right; today we are celebrating St. Patrick's Day. To be completely honest, I had no concept of who Saint Patrick was and why we celebrate him, so today on the blog, we're going to delve into the history of this celebration of Irish culture.
Why Saint Patrick?
St. Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland and is credited with spreading Christianity in Ireland. However, his story isn't simple. As a teenager, he was kidnapped and sold into slavery in Ireland for seven years before he escaped. Once he returned to his home, Britain, he was ordained as a priest and returned to the land where he was enslaved to spread the gospel of Christ. This is pretty incredible. He was beaten by the people and rejected by the rulers, but he persevered in his mission to show the love of Christ. After his death, which allegedly occurred on March 17th, he became the patron saint of Ireland.
Why the Shamrock?
According to tradition, Saint Patrick actually used the three-leaf clover, or shamrock, to teach about the Trinity: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. It is also a symbol of Ireland and of Saint Patrick, which is why they're so prevalent today.
Why the Snakes?
According to tradition, Saint Patrick chased Ireland's snakes into the sea after they attacked him during his forty day fast. According to scientific research and analysis of the wildlife of Ireland today, it is extremely likely that snakes were never present on the island. The only snakes you'll find in the land of the Irish are kept as pets, so if you're afraid of snakes, Ireland is the place for you.
Now that your curiosity about the history of Saint Patrick's Day has been satiated, start celebrating. Wear green, and eat a traditional meal of corned beef and cabbage. Happy Saint Patrick's Day from the Choctawk!