I don't know about you, but I just spent my entire weekend celebrating some guy that I don't even know!
Who is this St. Patrick character anyway?
All I know about him is that he must have LOVED the color green (and pinched those that refused to wear it), his favourite drink was green beer (or green whiskey), he always brought his ladies clover instead of flowers, and he must have loved the Canadian Newfie/Celtic band Great Big Sea.
There has to be more to this story...
Well, after a bit of research, here's what I've discovered:
Apparently, this saint known as Patrick lived during the fifth century AND Ireland was not even his native home (gasp!). He was born in Britain and was kidnapped and brought to Ireland for the first time as a slave. He managed to escape captivity, returned to Britain and became a priest. For some reason, he was drawn back to the mysterious island — the home of his kidnappers — and returned as a missionary determined to convert the Irish to Christianity and create a structured church system.
So why is he such a big deal?
He is considered to be the one that laid the foundation for the true Irish Catholic Church! Irish Catholics are undoubtedly one of the most devout groups of people in the world (until the more recent decline and dissatisfaction) so it's no wonder they love this guy!
Still not sure how the green beer came into play, but I for one will continue to raise an emerald coloured pint to this Irish hero every March! Cheers!