Saint Patrick's Day, or the Feast of Saint Patrick, is held on March 17th, the date of passing of the foremost patron saint of Ireland. Saint Patrick's Day was made an official Christian feast day in the early 17th century, commemorating the arrival of Christianity in Ireland, and celebrating the heritage and culture of the Irish in general. Saint Patrick's Day is a public holiday in the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador (for provincial government employees), and the British Overseas Territory of Montserrat. It is also widely celebrated by the Irish diaspora around the world, especially in the United Kingdom, Canada, United States, Brazil, Argentina, Australia, and New Zealand. Saint Patrick's Day is celebrated in more countries than any other national festival.
Patrick was a 5th-century Romano-British Christian missionary and bishop in Ireland. 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. He spent six years there working as a shepherd and found God during that time. God told Patrick to flee to the coast, where a ship would be waiting to take him home. After escaping, he made his way home, Patrick went on to become a priest and returned to Ireland to convert the Pagan Irish to Christianity.
When the Order of St. Patrick—an Anglo-Irish chivalric order—was founded in 1783, it adopted blue as its color, which led to blue being associated with St Patrick. In the 1790s, green became associated with Irish Nationalism when a rebellion began against British rule. The importance of the color green spread, thanks in part to the poems and ballads written during this time, most famously “The Wearing of the Green.”
Saint Patrick used the three-leaved shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity to the Irish Pagans.
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A Tribute to Bob Capone
January 2, 2015
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