St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, was not actually Irish. He was born on March 17 around AD 385, somewhere in Roman Britain, possibly near Dumbarton, Scotland. At 16, Irish raiders looking for slaves captured him and he was taken to Ireland to tend sheep.
After six years of slavery, he ran away and ended up wandering through southern Gaul (France) and Italy. There, he had a vision from God that told him to return to Ireland and convert the pagans to Christianity.
Returning to Ireland around 432, St. Patrick did missionary work until he died in 464. The country of Ireland went into mourning. The first St. Patrick’s Day celebration in the United States was in 1737 in Boston.
Today, St. Patrick’s Day is a mixture of non-religious celebrations of Irish culture, folklore and superstition. You’re meant to wear green, the national color of Ireland. Oh yeah, and let’s not forget drinking… lots and lots of drinking.
Here are seven more facts about the “luck of the Irish”…