Skip to Content

St. Patrick: The Man Behind the Holiday

Sharing is caring!

St. Patrick, the man behind the holiday, was a 5th-century Romano-British Christian missionary and bishop in Ireland. Known as the “Apostle of Ireland”, he is the primary patron saint of the country. The details of St. Patrick’s life remain a mystery but many traditional stories include him teaching the Irish about Christianity and using a shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity. His death on March 17 became St. Patrick’s Day, an annual feast day and public holiday celebrated with parades, wearing of green attire and public drinking since the 17th century.

Unveiling the Mystery: St. Patrick – The Man Behind the Holiday

St. Patrick: The Man Behind the Holiday
St. Patrick: The Man Behind the Holiday

Born in Britain around the end of the fourth century A.D., St. Patrick was not initially Irish nor was he named Patrick. His birth name was Maewyn Succat but he later adopted Patricius (Patrick), after becoming a priest. At sixteen years old, his life took an unexpected turn when he was kidnapped by Irish pirates and sold into slavery in Ireland.

During his six years as a slave tending sheep in the remote Irish countryside, St. Patrick found solace in his Christian faith which had been largely unimportant to him before his captivity. He spent long hours in prayer and contemplation, developing a deep spiritual connection that would shape the rest of his life.

Following what he believed to be divine intervention, St. Patrick managed to escape from slavery and return to Britain where he pursued religious studies for fifteen years under St. Germaine of Auxerre. After being ordained as a priest and later as a bishop by Pope Celestine I, he felt called back to Ireland with an ardent desire to convert the Irish people to Christianity.

St.Patrick’s mission in Ireland wasn’t easy; he faced opposition from druidic high priests who were threatened by his message and even endured several imprisonments during his evangelistic journey across Ireland. Yet through it all, he remained steadfastly committed to spreading Christianity throughout the land.

One of St.Patrick’s most famous teaching methods involved using the three-leafed shamrock plant native to Ireland as a metaphor for explaining the Holy Trinity – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – to the Irish people. This is why the shamrock has become a symbol associated with St. Patrick’s Day.

St.Patrick served in Ireland for about 30 years, establishing monasteries, schools and churches throughout the country. His dedication and tireless efforts played a significant role in converting the Irish people to Christianity and transforming Ireland into one of the Christian centers of Europe during the Middle Ages.

St.Patrick died on March 17th, around 461 A.D. and was largely forgotten until mythology and folklore began to grow around his name several centuries later. He was eventually canonized by the Catholic Church, although not officially as no formal canonization process existed at that time.

St. Patrick: The Man Behind the Holiday
St. Patrick’s Day, celebrated annually on March 17th, is a holiday known worldwide for its festive parades, green beer and the ubiquitous shamrock. However, many people may not know much about the man behind this holiday: St. Patrick himself. Unveiling the mystery of St. Patrick reveals a fascinating story of faith, perseverance and transformation.

Today, St.Patrick’s Day is celebrated not just in Ireland but around the world as a day of revelry and celebration of all things Irish. Yet amidst all the festivities, it’s worth remembering that behind this holiday lies an extraordinary man whose life story is one of faith, courage and unwavering commitment to his mission.

In conclusion, St.Patrick was more than just a figurehead for an annual holiday; he was a man who overcame adversity through faith and determination. His legacy continues to inspire millions worldwide even after more than fifteen centuries since his death. As we celebrate St.Patrick’s Day each year with parades, green attire and perhaps a pint or two of Guinness, let us also remember and honor the remarkable life journey of St.Patrick – truly the man behind the holiday.


St. Patrick, the man behind the holiday, was a significant figure in Irish history who played a crucial role in converting Ireland to Christianity during the 5th century. Despite being captured and enslaved by Irish raiders at a young age, he managed to escape and later returned to Ireland as a missionary. His dedication, resilience and religious devotion left an indelible mark on Irish culture and history, leading to his veneration as the patron saint of Ireland. The holiday associated with him not only celebrates his life and achievements but also represents Irish heritage and culture worldwide.

8 U.S. cities where you can dive deep into Irish American culture

Irish American Culture

Last updated May 29, 2023


The information provided by Love to Visit LLC ('we', 'us', or 'our') on (the 'Site') is for general informational purposes only. All information on the Site is provided in good faith, however we make no representation or warranty of any kind, express or implied, regarding the accuracy, adequacy, validity, reliability, availability, or completeness of any information on the Site. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCE SHALL WE HAVE ANY LIABILITY TO YOU FOR ANY LOSS OR DAMAGE OF ANY KIND INCURRED AS A RESULT OF THE USE OF THE SITE OR RELIANCE ON ANY INFORMATION PROVIDED ON THE SITE. YOUR USE OF THE SITE AND YOUR RELIANCE ON ANY INFORMATION ON THE SITE IS SOLELY AT YOUR OWN RISK.


The Site may contain (or you may be sent through the Site) links to other websites or content belonging to or originating from third parties or links to websites and features in banners or other advertising. Such external links are not investigated, monitored, or checked for accuracy, adequacy, validity, reliability, availability, or completeness by us. WE DO NOT WARRANT, ENDORSE, GUARANTEE, OR ASSUME RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE ACCURACY OR RELIABILITY OF ANY INFORMATION OFFERED BY THIRD-PARTY WEBSITES LINKED THROUGH THE SITE OR ANY WEBSITE OR FEATURE LINKED IN ANY BANNER OR OTHER ADVERTISING. WE WILL NOT BE A PARTY TO OR IN ANY WAY BE RESPONSIBLE FOR MONITORING ANY TRANSACTION BETWEEN YOU AND THIRD-PARTY PROVIDERS OF PRODUCTS OR SERVICES.


The Site may contain links to affiliate websites, and we receive an affiliate commission for any purchases made by you on the affiliate website using such links. Our affiliates include the following:
  • Viator

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn advertising fees by linking to and affiliated websites.

This disclaimer was created using Termly's Disclaimer Generator.

Sharing is caring!