St. Patrick, the Apostle of Ireland is one of the world’s most beloved Saints. Here’s a list of things you probably did not know about him.
1. St. Patrick wasn’t Irish
St. Patrick is the Patron Saint of Ireland, but he was born in Roman Britain around AD 387. When he was a teen, he was captured by Irish pirates and taken as a slave to Ireland. Six years later, he escaped from their captivity and returned to Britain. Several years later after becoming a Bishop, he returned to Ireland to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
2. He used the shamrock to explain the Trinity
The shamrock, a clover plant that is made of a stem and three small green leaves, is very common throughout Ireland. St. Patrick used the shamrock to explain the mystery of the Holy Trinity to pagans, how a single plant with three leaves is analogous to the Blessed Trinity, and how the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are one God but three separate and distinct persons.
3. He drove all the snakes from Ireland
According to a legend, St Patrick is said to have drove all snakes from Ireland, by chasing them into the sea after they attacked him during a 40-day fast he was undertaking on top of a hill. The absence of snakes in Ireland has led to the popularity of this legend, but it is likely that snakes have never existed in Ireland.
4. He converted Ireland to Christianity
St Patrick built over 300 churches and baptized over 120,000 people in Ireland. When St. Patrick first arrived in Ireland, a chieftain of one of the druid tribes tried to kill him but God protected him and St. Patrick was able to convert the chieftain to Christianity.
5. He died in poverty on March 17, 461
St Patrick is one of the most popular saints today and his feast day is celebrated by millions, but he spent most of his life in poverty, travelling and working tirelessly to preach the Gospel. He died in Saul, the site of the first Church he built in Ireland.