The True Tale of St. Patrick’s Day

Skyy Kuykendall and Aaliyah Peyton, Journalist

Familiar to most, March 17th of each year marks the holiday of St. Patrick’s Day. For many adults, it can be summarized by drinking and honoring Irish traditions with clothing and practicing their superstitions such as wearing green to be protected from leprechauns. However, the lesser known part of St. Patrick’s Day is the mythology surrounding the man who the holiday was named after.

The information surrounding St. Patrick is slim, contrasting by sources since he lived around 400 AD. Although, surprisingly, all sources state that his birth name was indeed not Patrick, he was not an official saint, and he was in fact not Irish.

Maewyn Succat, otherwise known as St. Patrick, was born in Britain to a wealthy family in 386 AD. Maewyn would live his life privileged until some time in his later adolescence when he was taken into slavery by Irish men to work on a farm as a sheep herder. Maewyn would continue to be imprisoned for years until, in a dream, he claimed he heard an angel telling him to escape Ireland and return to his home country. Maewyn would do this just to be told in another dream by God that he must return to Ireland to bring back Christianity. Maewyn, who would later rename himself Patrick, reason being the Latin translation means “father,”and would gain popularity and effectively spread Christianity.

Patrick would die at the ripe age of 78, on March 17th, 465 AD, months before the official title “saint” would be granted to him. Nevertheless, Patrick wouldleave a legacy to those in Ireland as his name is still being recognized several centuries after his death. As a result, celebrations for March 17th look very different in Ireland versus in the United States; Ireland focusing more on the religious impact of Patrick Succat.

As stated prior, there are many ways in which people of celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. However, after interviewing the students at Musselman High School, many of students showed monotone feelings about the holiday, one stating, “it’s a rather forgettable holiday, although the lore behind it is quite interesting.”

Oftentimes, although they did not know much about the history of the holiday, they expressed their interest and nostalgia for the holiday with things such as plastic green trinkets and parties with friends and family.

To conclude, St. Patrick’s day is more than just an excuse to pinch others for not wearing green; it remains a historic day for people in other parts of the world.