St. Patrick was not St. Patrick and drinking was not an option.
Everyone ‘knows’ that St. Patrick was Irish and liked to drink but wouldn’t you be surprised to know that not only was St. Patrick not Irish but not even a Patrick. Would it shock you to know that from 1903 until at least 1961, pubs in Ireland were closed on March 17th?
St. Patrick was born in Roman Britain and was captured around the age of 16 and enslaved. His birth name was Maewyn Succat. After six years of working as a herdsman, he subsequently escaped and returned to his family. Even though his father was a deacon and his grandfather a priest, it wasn’t until his time of slavery that he learned to pray daily. It was during these years of isolation that he found God.
After escaping Ireland and returning home, a journey that took several years, he studied theology. After having a vision, he decided to return to Ireland to become an apostle to the Irish people. One thing was fairly clear. Patrick was different and so was his approach to the Irish people. He was not about teaching “religion” to potential converts. He wanted to be a missionary – an apostle to spread the word of God’s love and grace to the Irish. It is said that the bishops of the Catholic Church treated Patrick as a kind of theological looney since he focused less on ritual and more on the souls of people.
Patrick’s approach to life was fairly simple – believe in God and do His will. His writings are authentic and straightforward – and they are not about drinking pints of Guinness.
It is believed that Patrick died on the 17th of March, though the year is uncertain. St. Patrick is said to be buried at Down Cathedral in Downpatrick, County Down, alongside St. Brigid and St. Columba, although this has never been proven.
So, now you know that Patrick wasn’t a Patrick, wasn’t Irish, and wasn’t a drinker. Really, just don’t get me started on the snakes which aren’t snakes.
Happy (and informed) St. Patrick’s Day, ya’ll. This is Tuesday DangerGirl, signing off.