We just recently celebrated St. Patrick’s Day. Though most view it as a secular holiday, the celebration of St. Patrick’s Day has a religious origin. This has been lost over time, with his work and accomplishments having been long forgotten by most people.
After embarking on your favorite St. Patrick’s Day rituals and routines, don green attire, or imbibe in adult beverages of questionable coloration, let’s have a quick review. But, don’t worry; you will not be tested on this material.
- Patrick is not really a Saint. That is, he was not canonized by Rome.
- He was not Irish. He was English.
- He did not rid Ireland of snakes. That is folklore.
- Patrick did go to Ireland. Actually, he went twice, the first time, unwillingly as a slave; the second time willingly, as a missionary.
- For 30 years, he traveled Ireland, promoting Christianity and setting up churches and monasteries
He died on March 17, 461 (yes, a long, long time ago), marking the day that we commemorate his life—by celebrating his myth.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
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Peter DeHaan writes about biblical spirituality, often with a postmodern slant. He seeks a fresh approach to faith and following God through the lens of scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.