HUMOUR — St. Patrick is affectionately known to the most studious historians, such as myself, as Mr. P. He was born in England sometime around the year 385 AD and was taken as a slave to Ireland when he was 16. He didn’t even want to go! Eventually he ran away from Ireland and banded with some pirates to voyage back to Britain.
Mr. P was born Maewyn Succat and he changed his name to Patrick later in his life. Why the name change? What do you have to hide from us, Mr. P? Maybe the fact that you are a pirate!
He is credited with bringing Christianity to the emerald isle. Some aspects of this religion later caused years of war and strife for the Irish people. Thanks a lot, Mr. P.
Mr. P is also known for driving the snakes out of Ireland. I think in biology this is referred to as disrupting an ecosystem. Thanks again, Mr. P.
St. Patrick’s Day is now associated with everything Irish and the colour green, which is ridiculously tacky. You can thank Mr. P for your “Kiss Me, I’m Irish” shot glass necklaces. But this guy’s real colour was blue. As far as colours go, blue represents loyalty, intelligence, faith, truth and heaven, which is pretty legit for a saint.
The colour green was added after the rebellion of 1798, when an entire rebellious group wore green as a statement. So, Mr. P also incited rebellion. Nice. I get that this rebellion happened over a thousand years after he died, but someone has to be held accountable. Am I blaming the rebellion of 1798 on Mr. P? I don’t know.
Mr. P and his pet leprechaun, Brian, went everywhere together spreading the good word. A leprechaun is an Irish fairy creature who wears green, fixes shoes and likes to hoard gold. It is a well-known fact that Mr. P had the most fashionable shoes in all of Ireland. The legend suggests that Mr. P captured Brian and committed the creature to a life of shoemaking slavery. This might not be true; don’t look it up.
Okay, okay, okay, St. Patrick was taken to Ireland as a slave, but he escaped and later still came back to Ireland because he thought he could do some good. Basically, he’s the symbol of forgiveness and goodness. No wonder he made it to patron saint status. He is celebrated worldwide, and March 17 is even a provincial holiday in Newfoundland and Labrador. Go figure.
St. Patrick’s Day has been celebrated for over 1 000 years. This year will be no exception. As we all know, there is no better way to celebrate forgiveness and goodness than getting wasted in honour of a pirate-loving, ecosystem-disrupting, rebellion-inspiring saint.
Please keep in mind that this is a probably mostly true history, which means some details are definitely false.