The history of St. Patrick’s Day, which started out as a Holy Day for the Irish Catholics in the 10th or 11th century, goes all the way back to the late 3rd century when a small boy was born in Roman England by the name of Maewyn.
Maewyn and his family lived in a small town where his father was a soldier in the army and a member of the town government. Some accounts say that Maewyn was an agnostic and some say that his family was Christian, but weren’t very strong in their faith. Either way, it doesn’t really matter because it was what happened later in his life that gained him his notoriety.
When Maewyn was only 16, there was a raid on his village from Ireland, in the Irish Sea. They captured Maewyn and many of the villagers and took them back to Ireland as servants and slaves for the local Irish.
It was here in captivity that it is reported that Maewyn accepted God, and began to talk to him. In fact, legend has it that he often spoke to God in prayer up to one hundred times a day. And Maewyn was under the authority of a Celtic family, so he learned the Celtic language and how to speak it fluently. Six years later, when he was 22, Maewyn escaped from his servitude and ran to France. There he joined a monastery and under the direction of the Bishop of France, he studied the Bible. It was this Bishop who gave him the name Patrick. Legend has it that while Patrick was here in the monastery, he heard angels calling him back to Ireland.
After spending 12 years in the study of theology and Catholic Laws, he departed and went to Ireland to preach to a heathen nation. He spent 30 years in evangelistic and missionary work across the land. He won many converts over, healed people, and it was even said that he raised some people from the dead. Everywhere he went he announced God, and he built many schools and churches to help promote the Catholic religion. Legend has it that angels followed him everywhere, and even told him where and how to go.
After 30 years of missionary work, he died on March 17th. This is the day that has gone down in history as St. Patrick’s Day, for the patron saint of Ireland.
St. Patrick’s Day today has grown into much more than just a Holy Day for Catholics. Strict Catholics around the world though do remember St. Patrick, usually in an early Mass on March 17th. But everyone joins in as a celebration of St. Patrick’s Day and becomes Irish for the day. It has now become a celebration of spring with parades special Irish meals, green tinted drinks, and beer, etc. “The wearing of the green” and the Leprechaun have come about over the years to be Good Luck and prosperity to all and everything green typically represents the turning to spring – green is the color of life.
So, with one day to be Irish, take advantage, and have a wonderful St. Patrick’s Day.
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