About Saint Patrick and Saint Patrick’s Day
This is a brief history of Saint Patrick and Saint Patrick’s Day.
Saint Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland. He is credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland. Most of what is known about him comes from his two works:
- Confessio – a spiritual autobiography.
- Epistola – a denunciation of British mistreatment of Irish Christians.
Saint Patrick described himself as a “most humble-minded man, pouring forth a continuous paean of thanks to his Maker for having chosen him as the instrument whereby multitudes who had worshiped idols and unclean things had become the people of God.”
Personally, I think anyone who describes him, or herself, as “most humble-minded” isn’t very humble.
Saint Patrick used the shamrock to explain the Trinity to “pagans”. Although, it should be noted that the trinity wasn’t something new to pagans. Depending on the pagan’s beliefs many had a belief in a god with 3 personalities. Furthermore, the term “pagan” is a blanket reference to all who had polytheistic or indigenous beliefs. Therefore, it is more accurate to say that he used the shamrock to explain the trinity to Irish natives with indigenous beliefs.
There are many myths and legends about Saint Patrick. What’s true or not is difficult to ascertain. Some of the stories surrounding Saint Patrick include:
- Driving the snakes out of Ireland
It’s more likely that the indigenous folks worshiped symbols of serpents and maybe he simply ended such practices.
- Abolishing the Tara Druid’s pagan rites
The story is that he converted the warrior chiefs and baptized thousands of their subjects in holy wells. How wells in Ireland suddenly became “holy” is beyond me. In reality, I’d say the druids and their subjects just needed a good wash and here was a strange man from Wales willing to clean them!
- He died in Downpatrick or Glastonbury
No one knows where he died for sure but in Downpatrick they say he died March 17th 460AD. That’s where we get the date for his celebration. But that account can’t be true if he ended his days in Glastonbury in England where he is supposed to be buried.
The true meaning of Saint Patrick’s Day, which is held on March 17th each year and celebrated by Irish Catholics at home and abroad, is a time of spiritual renewal and a time to offer prayers to the missionaries worldwide.
Saint Patrick’s Day Parade Details for Galway City 2013:
The theme for the Galway City Parade this year is “The History of Galway”. What is unique with the parade this year is that the organizers are inviting anyone who is related to or has a surname of the Tribes of Galway. These surnames are:
This year’s parade will start at 11.30 am, 17th March 2013 on Lower Dominick Street (Monroes Pub). The parade will then move up Dominick Street, over O’Brien’s Bridge, up Shop Street and on to Eyre Square. The parade will finish at Galway County Council Buildings.