Friday, March 17, 2017

My Irish Heritage: Saint Patrick's Day

If my first name, Kelly, didn't give away my Irish roots then knowing that several of my paternal great-great-grandparents immigrated to the United States from Ireland during the Great Potato Famine will likely give you a broad hint to a portion of my heritage. In honor of my Irish kin, today's post is dedicated to them and celebrates Saint Patrick's Day.

Saint Patrick's Day, also known as the Feast of Saint Patrick, is celebrated every year on March 17th. This day has been set aside as both a cultural and religious celebration of Saint Patrick, the Patron Saint of Ireland. March 17th was chosen because it marks the day of his death in Downpatrick, Ireland in the year 461. (

Who was Saint Patrick?

Saint Patrick was born Maewyn Succat and changed his name to Patricius, which is Latin for father figure when he started studying to be a priest. ( Patrick was born in Roman Britain, most likely modern day Scotland, in the year 385 ( When he was just sixteen years old, Patrick was kidnapped by Irish marauders and sold into slavery. For six years, he was forced to tend to his master's flocks. Patrick would escape captivity and after a harrowing journey return home where he would study for the priesthood. Yet, Patrick could not get the Irish people out of his mind. He felt them calling to him to show them the way to salvation. Therefore, Patrick would return to Ireland and share his Catholic faith with the people. (St. Patrick's Day)

Shamrock Legend:

Perhaps the most well known legend about St. Patrick, and my personal favorite, is his use of the three leaf clover to tell about the Holy Trinity. The three leaves, though separate, are all part of the same shamrock. Similarly, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are three separate entities. Yet, they are all of God and in God. (

Post a Comment