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St. Patrick’s Day – A Religious Holiday?

You better believe it!

It turns out that St. Patrick’s day started off as a religious remembrance day for the patron saint of Ireland and then turned into more of an Irish cultural celebration. The story is actually quite interesting and goes a little something like this:

Saint Patrick was a 5th-century Romano-British Christian missionary and bishop in Ireland. Known as the “Apostle of Ireland”, he is the primary patron saint of the island along with Saints Brigit and Columba. The dates of Patrick’s life cannot be fixed with certainty but, on a widespread interpretation, he was active as a missionary in Ireland during the second half of the fifth century. He is generally credited with being the first bishop of Armagh, Primate of Ireland. When he was about 16, he was captured from his home in Great Britain, and taken as a slave to Ireland, where he lived for six years before escaping and returning to his family. After becoming a cleric, he returned to northern and western Ireland. In later life, he served as an ordained bishop, but little is known about the places where he worked. By the seventh century, he had already come to be revered as the patron saint of Ireland.

To learn more, check out the entire Wikipedia article at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Patrick

BUT for even more information, check out the clips at History.com: http://www.history.com/topics/st-patricks-day

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