Question: “Who was Saint Patrick and why do we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?”
Answer:The man eventually canonized as Saint Patrick by the Catholic Church was born to a wealthy family in 387 A.D. in Kilpatrick, Scotland. His real name was Maewyn Succat. It was his extensive missionary work in Ireland for which he is famous. During the thirty years of work there he supposedly converted over 135,000 people, established 300 churches, and consecrated 350 bishops. He died on March 17, 461 A.D.
History records that Saint Patrick, at age sixteen, was captured by Celtic raiders and spent several years as a slave in Ireland. It was during this time that he learned the various rituals, customs, and language of Celtic Druids. It was these people that he eventually converted to Catholicism. He apparently had a dream in which God spoke to him saying “Your ship is ready.” Saint Patrick was then able to escape by ship back to Britain. Shortly thereafter, he experienced another dream in which he received a letter which claimed to be the “voice of the Irish.” When he opened it, he heard the voices of all those who he had met in Ireland begging him to return. Continue reading Why Do We Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?