Thursday, March 6, 2008

Thirteen Things About St. Patrick

St. Patrick’s Day:
13 Things About the Saint Behind
the Holiday

The promise of spring is in the buds on the bare branches and under the still massive snow mounds. March has finally arrived and with March, St. Patrick’s Day. It’s the holiday that, for me, heralds the re-greening of everything growing, including the plants and flowers I love.
I’ve always relished St. Patrick’s Day. I look good in green and, as a redhead, I’m often asked if I’m Irish. I like green bagels, love corned beef and cabbage, and I’ve thrown back a flagon or two of green beer. Still, I have to confess I didn’t know a lot about the saint the holiday’s named for. In an effort to learn more, I did a little research and discovered many interesting facts and legends about St. Patrick.

Thirteen Things About St. Patrick

1. He was born at Kilpatrick in Scotland around 387A.D.
2. Patrick was 16 years old when he was captured by pirates.
3. He was sold as a slave to a chieftain, named Milchu, who may have been a druid.
4. Patrick tended Milchu’s sheep on the slopes of Slemish Mountain for six years.
5. In a dream, a voice told Patrick that the time for his escape had come and a ship was waiting to take him back to Britain.
6. Patrick walked west. Some sources say he traveled 200 miles to the west coast of Ireland.
7. After Patrick returned to his home in Scotland, he studied religion and became a priest.
8. He returned to Ireland and for 29 years set about spreading Christianity.
9. It’s reported he baptized more than 120,000 people and started 300 churches.
10. It’s also said that he drove the snakes from Ireland, but most sources believe this is only a legend.
11. Another story about St. Patrick is that he taught the Irish about the Trinity – the union of three divine persons: father, son and holy spirit – using the shamrock and its three lobed leaves.
12. He might have died at Saul, Downpatrick, Ireland on March 17, 493 A.D. Then again, St. Patrick may have died at Glastonbury Abbey in England. There’s a legend about his jawbone becoming a holy relic, which apparently helped women with childbirth and people suffering epileptic fits.
13. By the 8th century, the Irish were calling St. Patrick the patron saint of Ireland.

What are your thoughts about St. Patrick’s Day? Do you ponder St. Pat? Or do you think of the fun, the parades and the green beer? I’d like to hear from you.
-- Brenda Nelson-Davis
This information about St. Patrick was gathered from the following sites: the Catholic Encyclopedia,,, and www.

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone
who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow
Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your
Thirteen in others comments. It's easy and fun! Trackbacks, pings,
comment links accepted!


  1. He must have had quite a good personality to accomplish so much. I marvel at St. Patrick.

  2. I'm not Irish, so I don't do the whole green beer thing, but any reason to make corned beef works for me :) Thanks for the fascinating post. I am not a follower of St. Patrick, so I have no clue.

  3. This is a great T13. Love the picture of St. Patrick at the top - I always love those Victorian saint cards. To be honest, I love hearing about the saints who seem to have passed from common memory. My feeling is that local tradition and folklore get attached to them after their deaths, which in itself says a lot about the region they come from. But generally, if a person is nominated to be a saint in the first place, I figure they were amazing people.

  4. I'm not irish but I'm glad I learned a lot about him.

    :) Happy T13.

  5. Interesting TT. I knew the snakes legend, but come on. How can that possibly be real?

    I like that his captor was possibly a Druid; that adds a nice touch to the story. I wonder if there's any way to find out for certain?

  6. Oh this is a hot, hot, hot topic at our house. My bil is very into St. Patrick as one of the first "true" Christians.

    I have heard that the "snakes" he drove out were millions of women he burned at the stake. I do know that the country went from earth based religion to christianity during his lifetime - which usually means massive female death.

    I think it's so hard to look back on a person. Who knows really what they were like?

    Happy TT!

  7. I'm a green bagel and shamrock kind of gal. Interesting to read about St. Pat though.

  8. Loved the shamrock/Trinity connection! I had no idea. (I'm a green beer girl.) Thanks for visiting my TT.

  9. I once played St. Patrick in a skit, so I knew about the snake thing. Thanks for the rest of the information!

  10. No TT for me today, but I wanted to thank you for dropping by my blog!

    I'd like to invite you (all) to play my weekly Heads Or Tails meme. All the details can be found in my right sidebar. (End of spam. LOL!)

  11. Very interesting! So, where does the tradition of pinching someone who's not wearing green come in? :)

  12. I went to Catholic school so I'm rather familiar with St. Patrick. It was always addressed that the legend of St. Patrick driving the snakes from Ireland was a metaphor for his work ridding Ireland of its earth-based pagan culture. And as Claudia said, that usually came with violence and female slaughter.

    So no, not particularly attached to Patty or his holiday. But I do love learning about everything so it was a great to see your TT.

    Oh, and to Brenda ND: Howdy Neighbor :)

    Happy TT


  13. brenda ... I ust told my husband St. Patrick was born a Scotsman .. we have constant Celt "uping" here in the O'Connor household .. my side being Scottish nee Glencross .. son Ian is a double celt .. yes .. we are a wacky family !
    Thanks for stopping by my blog !
    Get that book ! LOL

  14. AWESOME--St. Patty's Day rules!! Thanks for all the good info!!

  15. Hi Kiddo,
    Here is number fourteen and fifteen for your thirteen - Saint Patrick was never cannonized by any pope - there was more than one. Nice list this time! I really like your thirteen for Thursdays. Gives me something to chew over while I'm flippin' the table cloths clean side up. Come on, I'll but you a coffee.

  16. that's cool, i always wondered what the shamrock had to do with a saint! thanks for stopping by!

  17. Interesting information. We just do the 'pinch if you're not wearing green' thing.
    Thanks for stopping by my blog. Have a great day!

  18. Hey, Kiddo, I'll help you hold up the wall here, and trade you fourteen and fifteen for your Thursday. Fourteen - I'll buy you dinner if you can tell me the name of the pope who cannonized Ol'Saint Paddy. Give up? He ever was cannonized.
    Fifteen - there was more than one Saint Patrick - go check it out!

    I like your Thirteen for Thursdays. Gives me something to chew over while I'm flipping tablecloths clean side up.

  19. Uhm... make that "NEVER was cannonized." Something happened to my "N." Probably dropped it in the pancake batter - Hey, Cookie! Watch out for my N when you griddle up thoses cakes, OK?

  20. I don't get into the whole St. Paddy day thing. I do think that the historic part is interesting and am glad to know it.

  21. I'm always intrigued with early church history and people who were key in the spread of Christianity. I do not venerate any particular man or saint but I admire them and am inspired by them. This was a great TT. Oh and I do try to make cornbeef and cabbage on the 17th and I try to wear green so I don't get pinched...

  22. I love everything about St. Patrick's Day. Must be because I'm half Irish. Very cool TT!

  23. Very interesting and informative post!

  24. Great List. Thanks for stopping by.

  25. Wow! I didn't know all that! Very interesting. Love your picture. My grandfather was born on St. Patrick's Day, and yes, he was Irish.

  26. I love history and this was so interesting!

  27. What an interesting post. I don't know much about St. Patrick, so it was nice to learn some new things.

  28. All this history evolved to a day for corned beef and cabbage, a good ale, and some fiddling and Irish music. Then again, who can resist party?