Being a redhead and with more than a smidgen of Irish in my family tree, I have to say I kind of like St. Patrick's Day. But do you know where the holiday comes from?
On this day in 461 A.D., Saint Patrick died in Saul, Downpatrick, Ireland.
Much of his life history is found in the book he wrote, Confessio. He was born in Great Britain. At the age of 16 he was captured and enslaved by Irish marauders. For six years, he worked as a herder in Ireland. It's here that he turned to a deepening religious faith for comfort. Following the counsel of a voice he heard in a dream, he escaped and made his way back to Britain and was reunited with his family.
According to his book, Confessio, while he was in Britain, he had another dream. In that dream he felt that he should return to Ireland. After studying for the priesthood, he was ordained a bishop. And in 433 he arrived in Ireland and began preaching the Gospel. After 40 years of teaching, traveling and working tirelessly, he died on March 17th 461 in Saul, where he had built his first church.
Made the patron saint of Ireland, he is said to have baptized hundreds of people on a single day, and to have used a three-leaf-clover, the famous shamrock, to describe the Holy Trinity.
So there you have it.
Happy St. Patrick's Day!
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