Origin of the Name -Nobleman or Unknown King?
St. Patrick’s Early Life and Connection with Ireland
Patrick came from an influential family steeped in religion. His father, Calpurnius, was a member of city senate in Rome, known as a decurion which was a very powerful position in local politics. He was also also a deacon of the early Christian church. His grandfather Potitus was a priest. Patrick tells us that at this time he was not an active believer himself.
This was all to change when, at the age of sixteen, Patrick tells us, in the Confession , that he was captured from his home in Britain by Irish pirates and enslaved in Ireland. This time he spent in captivity was critical to his spiritual development. While in captivity, he worked as a shepherd and in this solitude, he strengthened his relationship with God through prayer, eventually leading him to convert to Christianity .
After six years of captivity ,Patrick heard a voice telling him that he would soon go home, and that his ship was ready. He took this as a message to run away from his servitude. In his writings, he tell us that he escaped to a port, two hundred miles away, where he found a ship and persuaded the captain to take him on board. After three days' sailing, they landed, presumably in Britain, and apparently all left the ship, walking for 28 days in a "wilderness" and becoming faint from hunger. After Patrick prayed for sustenance, they encountered a herd of wild boar. This greatly impressed the group apparently. Patrick made it back to his family and, now in his early twenties, he continued to study Christianity and eventually became a bishop and went back to Ireland as a missionary. He is traditionally credited with Christianising the island, and is regarded as Ireland's patron saint.
It wasn’t until 1798, the year of the Irish Rebellion, that the colour green became officially associated with the day. Up until the rebellion, the colour associated with St. Patrick was blue, as it was featured both in the royal court and on ancient Irish flags. But as the British wore red, the Irish chose to wear green, and they sang the song “The Wearing of the Green” during the rebellion, cementing the colour’s relevance in Irish history.
The shamrock, a three-leaf clover, has long been associated with Ireland. It was called the “seamróg” by the Celts and was considered a sacred plant, symbolising the rebirth of spring. Although the shamrock is associated with St. Patrick, it was likely already in use in Ireland as a popular symbol of the Tua Cross among Celtic Druids. The number three was also considered a mystical number in the Druidic religion, making the shamrock a sacred plant. According to legend, St. Patrick used the plant as a visual guide when explaining the Holy Trinity.
The Snake Story
In fact, research suggests snakes never occupied the Emerald Isle in the first place. There are no signs of snakes in the country’s fossil record. And water has surrounded Ireland since the last glacial period. Before that, the region was covered in ice and would have been too cold for the reptiles.
Famous Pats, Patricias, Patricks & Paddys
Paddy Casey, Irish Singer-songwriter
Ricky Gervais, actor and writer
Patti Smith, Singer
Patricia Neal, Actress
Patrick Stewart, British actor
Patrick Duffy, American actor
Pádraig Harrington, Golfer
Patrick Dempsey, American actor
Patrick Swayze, American actor
Patrick Warburton, American Actor
Patty (Patrick) Walters, Singer in AS IT IS
Patrick Kielty, Irish comedian
Patrick Wilson, American actor
Neil Patrick Harris, American actor
Patrick Chung, American football player of the New England Patriots
Patrick Kane, professional hockey player (Chicago Blackhawks)
Paddy Ashdown, British politician