What is St. Patrick’s Day truly about?

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Emma Bryant, Writer

St. Patrick’s Day is a day of remembrance for Saint Patrick of Ireland who died on March 17. People in Ireland and America celebrate this day. Saint Patrick was a 5th-century Romano-British Christian missionary and Bishop in Ireland. It is believed that he was born in Roman Britain in the fourth century, into a wealthy Romano-British family. His father was a deacon and his grandfather was a priest in the Christian church. At the age of sixteen, he was kidnapped by Irish raiders and taken as a slave to Gaelic Ireland. It is said that he spent six years there working as a shepherd and that during this time he found God. Supposedly, God told Patrick to flee to the coast, where a ship would be waiting to take him home. After making his way home, Patrick went on to become a priest.

According to tradition, Patrick returned to Ireland to convert the pagan Irish to Christianity. The Declaration says that he spent many years evangelizing in the northern half of Ireland and converted thousands. Tradition holds that he died on 17 March and was buried at Downpatrick. Over the following centuries, many legends grew up around Patrick and he became Ireland’s foremost saint.

On Saint Patrick’s Day, it is customary to wear shamrocks, green clothing, or green accessories. Saint Patrick is said to have used the shamrock, a three-leaved plant, to explain the Holy Trinity to the pagan Irish. Senior Jacob Nichols (12) said, “My favorite Irish food is shamrock shakes. I also eat corned beef and cabbage with my mom.” Margaret Foy (12) said, “I learned St. Patrick was a real person recently.”