Moira Brown shares the story of Saint Patrick and the rich Christian history behind the holiday that is anticipated and celebrated my many!
Born in Roman Britain in the late 4th century, he was kidnapped at the age of 16 and taken to Ireland as a slave. He escaped but returned about 432 to convert the Irish to Christianity. By the time of his death on March 17, 461, he had established monasteries, churches, and schools. Many legends grew up around him-for example, that he drove the snakes out of Ireland and used the shamrock to explain the Trinity.
Saint Patrick's Day was made an official feast day in the early seventeenth century and is observed by the Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion (especially the Church of Ireland), the Eastern Orthodox Church and Lutheran Church. For Christians, the day commemorates Saint Patrick and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland. However, it has also become a celebration of Irishness and Irish culture in general.
Today, the celebrations generally involve public parades and festivals and wearing of green attire or shamrocks.Christians also attend church services and the Lenten restrictions on eating and drinking alcohol are lifted for the day.