As most people know, it is about time for another Christian Holiday, St. Patrick’s Day. Most people recognize that St. Patty’s day is a Christian Holiday but many non-Christian things have been added, like green beer. There are several myths about St. Patrick, let me tell you what I was taught was true about the man.
St. Patrick was born an English man. His father and grandfather were in the leadership of the church and there is some debate as to whether they were deacons or priests. According to his own writings, he was brought up in a Christian home but he was not very devout until he was kidnapped.
His family lived in a costal town. When he was in his early teens Irish pirates kidnapped him, took him to Ireland and sold him as a slave. His job as a slave was a shepherd. This required him to stay out in the open in the very cold Irish moors. Again, from his own writings he tells that his master was very mean and cruel to him. He was given very little to eat, and only a small scratchy tunic that had holes in it to wear for clothes. He had to endure the drunken beatings of his master.
It was during this time that Patrick became serious about his religion. In his books, he talks about how he would pray for hours and pray as many as a hundred times a day. This is where his faith was strengthened.
After about six years of this, he was told to go back to England in a dream. Therefore, he just walked off the job one day and walked 200 miles to a port. At the port, he earned his passage on a ship by tending animals. He finally made it back home. Almost immediately after arriving home, he started studying for the priesthood. It took him 15 more years to be ordained a priest. In another dream, he was told to return to Ireland, which the churches blessed. The first thing he did upon returning was to walk back to his master’s farm and pay the family for his freedom.
There are many other myths about him, such as that he rid Ireland of all the snakes, which is not true. Another myth, which I like, is that he used the three-leaf clover to teach about the trinity. Unfortunately, there is no proof of that. Nevertheless, this is the reason green is always associated with St. Patrick’s Day.
One thing we do know is that Patrick was very successful as a missionary because he was able to convert most of Ireland to Christianity. Therefore, this year when you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day go in his tradition and tell someone about Christ.