History of St. Patrick's
St. Patrick’s Day observes the death of St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. The holiday has evolved into a celebration of Irish culture with parades, special foods, music, dancing, drinking and a whole lot of green. Historians generally believe that St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, was born in Britain (not Ireland) near the end of the 4th century. At age 16 he was kidnapped by Irish raiders and sold as a slave to a Celtic priest in Northern Ireland. After toiling for six years as a shepherd, he escaped back to Britain. He eventually returned to Ireland as a Christian missionary. Among the legends associated with St. Patrick is that he stood atop an Irish hillside and banished snakes from Ireland—prompting all serpents to slither away into the sea.The Story behind the Shamrock
The shamrock, a three-leaf clover, has been associated with Ireland for centuries. It was called the “seamroy” by the Celts and was considered a sacred plant that symbolized the arrival of spring. According to legend, St. Patrick used the plant as a visual guide when explaining the Holy Trinity. By the 17th century, the shamrock had become a symbol of emerging Irish nationalism.