Sunday, March 8, 2020

The History of St. Patrick's Kristin Wallace

Although St. Patrick's Day isn't officially until next week, I thought it would be fun to do a special holiday post today. 

For most people, St. Patrick's day means wearing green and drinking "green" beer. But how many of you know the actual history of St. Patrick’s Day? I looked into the mystery some years ago. (I actually used children’s books. I find them great resources since they’re very succinct. So, if any of my information is wrong, blame the kid’s books.)

The Real St. Patrick
St. Patrick was a bishop who lived around 385-460 A.D. He was one of the most popular saints in Ireland, even though his real name was not Patrick and he was not born in Ireland. His real name was “Maewyn Succat”, and many scholars believe he was actually born in Scotland or England. He referred to himself as patricius in his writings, which is Latin for “well-born”. The name became Patrick is the English version.
When St. Patrick was a boy he was taken as a slave to Ireland where he was put to work tending sheep. It was during those years in captivity that he found comfort in God. After six years, he escaped. However, St. Patrick felt he was being called to teach God’s word so he spent the next few years studying in a monastery. Then he returned to Ireland where he lived for the rest of his life.
Have you ever read the book “How The Irish Saved Civilization” by Thomas Cahill? If not, you absolutely should, especially if you like history. The premise of the book is that while the rest of Europe was mired in the Dark Ages, Ireland experienced a Golden Age. Irish monks were responsible for copying every piece of literature they could get their hands on. They almost single-handedly preserved the history of the Western culture, as well as some of our greatest literary works. Nearly every written word from before the Middle Ages exists today because of them. If not for the Irish we wouldn’t have The Bible or Homer’s Iliad or Aristotle’s philosophy, no Greek tragedies, no Roman law. The man responsible for this Golden Age in Ireland was none other than St. Patrick.
One last note...the day we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day (March 17), is not his birthday but rather the day of his death.

One last many of you can claim Irish ancestry? I have some on both sides. although it's been so long since my relatives left the "old country" that any true Irishness has been lost. What about you? 

Kristin Wallace is a USA Today Bestselling Author of sweet contemporary and inspirational romance filled with "Love, Laughter, and a Leap of Faith". It's not too late to pick up her holiday box set featuring three Christmas romances (Finding You At Christmas, Falling For You At Christmas, and Loving You At Christmas). Christmas in Shellwater Key is available on Kindle Unlimited so go ahead and scoop it up now. 


  1. Fascinating and so interesting. I didn't know that about St. Patrick.

  2. Very interesting, Kristin. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Kristin, thanks for sharing this information. I have Irish ancestry. My maternal grandmother was a McGee. My hubby's mother was Irish, and when she passed away, we inherited all of her Irish knickknacks. She loved everything Irish.

  4. I found out that my grandmother was part Irish Beth Reimer Bethreimer @

  5. I do not have to go back many generations to find ancestors who immigrated from Ireland.

  6. Very interesting. Not sure about any Irish but I do know that I have Russian, Polish and English in my family.
    jennydtipton at gmail dot com

  7. I didn't know that about the Irish monks.

  8. Thank you for all this info, Kristin. Happy March to you!!

  9. Irish! Thanks for the fascinating info!