St Patrick

St. Patrick’s Day was originally celebrated with religious services and feasts in Ireland. It was in honor of St. Patrick, one of Ireland’s Patron Saints. The definition of a Patron Saint is the protecting or guiding saint of a person or place. St. Patrick was kidnapped at the age of 16 and then taken to Ireland as a slave. He escaped and returned to convert the Irish to the religion of Christianity. By March 17, 461, he had established monasteries (a building or buildings occupied by a community of monks living under religious vows), churches (a building used for Christian worship), and schools. He used the shamrock (a type of clover) to explain the Trinity. It was emigrants (especially from the United States) who transformed St. Patrick’s Day into a secular holiday of the celebration of things Irish. The first St. Patrick’s Day parade took place in the United States. Records show that it was held on March 17, 1601.