The historical figure surrounding St. Patrick’s Day, St. Patrick of Ireland, was actually born in Britain around A.D. 390. At the age of 16, he was kidnapped and sent overseas to work in Ireland, according to Phillip Freeman, a classics professor at Luther College and the author of St. Patrick of Ireland: A Biography.
As a young man in the Irish countryside, St. Patrick was deeply converted to Christianity, according to Freeman.
According to St. Patrick’s Day lore, Patrick used the three-leaf shamrock to explain the holy trinity of Christianity: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Today, people celebrating St. Patrick’s Day often wear a shamrock out of tradition.
St. Patrick was not honored as the patron saint of Ireland until centuries after his death. His legend remains strong, and is also associated with Irish lore surrounding leprechauns, or Irish fairies, hiding their gold at the end of a rainbow.
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Come visit us this St. Patrick’s Day. St. Patrick’s Day is on Thursday, March 17 this year.