St. Patricks Day

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(Article for Newspaper Class)

St. Patrick's Day: What Is It All About?

What is St. Patrick's Day all about? Is it about wearing green so that you don't get pinched? Finding a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow? Maybe even about leprechauns or four-leaf clovers?

Actually St. Patrick's Day has nothing to do with any of those. It is a day to honor St. Patrick, the missionary who brought Christianity to Ireland.

St. Patrick (born Maewyn Succat) was born about 373AD in England. When he was sixteen years old he was kidnapped by Irish marauders that raided his village and was sent to be a slave in Ireland.

After six years of slavery, Patrick escaped and went to France, where he became a priest, changed his name to Patrick, and later became a bishop.

When Patrick was thirty-six years old he decided that he wanted to return to Ireland and spread Christianity to the Irish people.

He set up many churches and schools that would help him achieve his goal. Patrick even used a shamrock (three leaf clover) to explain the concept of trinity.

St. Patrick spread Christianity to the people of Ireland for thirty more years. He died on March 17 in 461AD. Today, March 17 is called St. Patrick's Day to remember him and the many things he did.

Facts and Symbols

* St. Patrick wasn't even Irish, he was British

* Snakes - It is a legend that St. Patrick drove all the snakes away from Ireland by standing on a hill top and using a Shillelagh (short, stout, oak club) to scare them into the sea.

* Shamrocks - St. Patrick used a shamrock to explain the concept of trinity to the Irish people. The concept of trinity is that the father, soon, and Holy Spirit (each represented by one of the leaves), could all exist as separate elements, but all of the same entirety.

* Green - Believe it or not, St. Patrick's "color" was not green, but actually blue. Many people think that it is green because in the 19th century Ireland adopted green as its national color.