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Who Is St Patrick? The Man, His Legacy, And How To Celebrate March 17th

Whether your ancestry comes form the Emerald Isle or not, everyone is Irish on St. Patrick's Day! But who is St Patrick? Here you will find stories that bring him to life with facts and legends so you can share and celebrate his legacy on his feast day, March 17th. 

Who Is St Patrick

So, who is St Patrick? St. Patrick was born near the close of the 4th century. When he was 16 he was captured and taken as a slave to Ireland. After half a year of this life, God revealed in a dream to our saint to return to his own land. After his escape, through diverse visions, God told Patrick that He had great work for him concerning the conversion of Ireland. Both family and clergy encouraged him not to return to Ireland, which perplexed St. Patrick. He forsook his family, sold his birthright and dignity to help strangers and consecrated himself to God.

In this disposition, he passed into Ireland where he devoted himself to the salvation of the barbarians. Penetrating every corner of the island, he baptized infants, ordained priests and consecrated virgins. The saint who Ireland, Australia and America owe their Catholic Faith to died in 461.

"If the virtue of children reflects an honor on their parents, much more justly is the name of St. Patrick rendered illustrious by the innumerable lights of sanctity with which the Church of Ireland shone during many ages."

 -Little Pictorial Lives of the Saints on St. Patrick

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1. Remembering St. Patrick's Legacy By Celebrating His Feast Day

Make sure to print this free St. Patrick coloring page to entertain the little ones! You can print from the internet or download this St. Patrick coloring page pdf file.

If you don't wear green on St. Patrick's Day, you may expect to get pinched by everyone who notices. Save your green and wear it proudly on March 17th. 

Parades are a common festivity in some towns. Irish dancing, clogging, bagpipes and anything with an Irish flare are encouraged for these events. 

I once saw on a headline that St. Patrick's Day was just another day for Catholics to drink and crack their heads open. Of course this is a Protestant attack on Catholics celebrating the saints and the allowance of drinking to do so. The joke goes that God made whiskey so the Irish would not rule the world.

There is a legend that an innkeeper gave St. Patrick a glass of whiskey that was only half full. St. Patrick reprimanded the innkeeper for being stingy and dishonest. The next time that the saintly bishop returned to the inn, the innkeeper had exercised generosity and served all his guests very full glasses of whiskey. This legend is honored by a St. Patrick's Day custom of "drowning a shamrock" in a full glass of whiskey which is called "Patrick's Pot". Keep this custom with any Irish whiskey on St. Patrick's Day.

Another way to truly carry out the tradition of feeding the hungry is to invite a family or someone you wouldn't usually socialize with to a St. Patrick/St. Josseph's Day Dinner. Corn beef and cabbage is a traditional Irish meal but you could add something with Italian flare to give a nod to St. Joseph.

2. Who Is St Patrick As Portrayed In Dramatizations And Films

The Trials of St. Patrick is an amazing dramatized story following the life of this saint. One is reminded that even the saints had short comings and failings but we are all able to strive to be better and become saints along the way. In this story, St. Patrick is accused of a murder in his youth. After his capture and escape, he grows closer to God. He confesses his sin at the first opportunity.

But, will his peers who are jealous of his success in Ireland hold the seal of confession sacred or will they use this evidence against the holy bishop? Proving that all men, even saints, suffer temptations and failings, this is an inspiring audio CD that poetically shows that forgiveness is always willingly given and that new beginnings can be made. 

I Am Patrick Docudrama

This dramatization will delight the imagination with epic storytelling, award-winning voice talents and a moving soundtrack. Life as a slave in pagan Ireland will come to life as well as the many trials that St. Patrick faced in this strange land.

The best part of this CD is when St. Patrick goes to a Druid sacred mountain to destroy the Krohn-Croch idol. A horrifying exorcism and almost overwhelming temptation meet St. Patrick. But, with the help of God, St. Patrick overcomes the demon and proves that the Christian God is the One, True God. 

I eagerly looked forward to watching the docudrama I Am Patrick, starring John Rhys-Davies as the older St. Patrick and Seán T. Ó. Meallaigh as the younger St. Patrick. It was with great disappointment that I viewed it and found it lacking. Read our full review here...

And of course, last but not least, is Saints and Heroes' Patrick: Brave Shepherd of the Emerald Isle. I grew up with this short film and I watched it recently as an adult and it still warms the heart. This animated film blends facts with tradition in this retelling of the St. Patrick story. The entire Saints and Heroes series can be watched on PureFlix!

3. Has The Fire Gone Out In The Emerald Isle?

Breastplate Of St. Patrick

I arise today 
Through a mighty strength,
The invocation of the Trinity,
Through belief in the Threeness,
Through confession of the Oneness
Of the Creator of creation.

Christ with me, Christ before me,
Christ behind me, Christ in me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,

Christ when I lie down,
Christ when I sit down,
Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me, Christ in every ear that hears me.

I hope that, after reading this, you are not still asking, "Who is St Patrick?" All the Celtic nations owe the faith to this fearless Catholic bishop.

Sadly, in recent years, Ireland has proved undeserving. After centuries of being a snake free island (after St. Patrick drove them out) a mysterious serpent washed up on shore after abortion was legalized in the Emerald Isle.

The land of saints and scholars was one of the first countries to legalize same-sex marriages as well.

But even the fate of this nation was revealed to St. Patrick in a dream. In his vision, St. Patrick saw Ireland on fire which skipped over the sea to set other nations on fire with its zeal.

Soon the fire went out in Ireland and in return, the other nations had to set it back to its former zealous situation.

We are living in the time when the Catholic fire of zeal has gone out of Ireland. This nation produced many missionaries, priests and saints who evangelized Europe and the U.S. We must pray that the fire will be re-lit in Ireland and what a better day to ask God for another St. Patrick than on his feast.


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