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How Does St. Patrick Fit into the Irish Religion?

How Does St. Patrick Fit into the Irish Religion?

Saint_Patrick_in_Boston_2008In many parts of the world they recognize March 17th as being St. Patrick’s Day and yet many don’t understand its true meaning. The importante of this day of course has to do with St. Patrick being the patron Saint of Ireland.

While not all religions throughout Ireland respect this Saint for its religious standing in the same way, his figure is nonetheless held in reverence by the Catholic Church, the Anglican Church as well as the Lutheran and Eastern Orthodox Churches.

St. Patrick was the leader of Christianity into Ireland. His presence on the island is fact and not fiction – as some believe. He was a missionary and a Bishop back in the fifth century CE. Folklore has it that this individual discovered God while he was a shepherd under slavery in Gaelic Ireland. It is said that God spoke to St. Patrick telling him to go to the coast where he would find a ship waiting for him. When he listened and obeyed to the voice, he was able to make his way back to his home where he then went into the priesthood. March 17th is the date of significance because it is believed that this is when St. Patrick died. His claim to fame is the thousands of Irish that he reportedly was able to steer towards Christianity.

The shamrock plays an important role in the symbolism regarding St. Patrick, as it is believed that he used the Shamrock as an example of the trinity.

The color green has to fit into the celebrations, one because it is the color of the shamrock, and secondly it is a color that has been closely related to Ireland for centuries.

While the attendance of Church is expected on St. Patrick’s Day, this is accompanied by many other celebrations that consist of feasts and parades. While one may think that the consumption of alcohol would be strictly forbidden on this day of St. Patrick’s celebration it is just the opposite: it’s actually one of the day’s long standing celebrations.

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