St. Patrick's Day

A Blessing from Saint Patrick
May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields and,
Until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand

St. Patrick's Day is a religious holiday that has its roots in Ireland. St. Patrick, whose real name was Maewyn Succat, was born sometime around the year 389 A.D. At the age of 16, Maewyn was kidnapped by Irish pirates who had landed near his home in England. During the years that he was in Ireland, he learned the Irish language and way of life. Having been born of Christain parents and raised in a Christian home, Maewyn was troubled because the Irish worshipped many gods and spirits.

Eventually, Maewyn was able to escape from Irish slavery. He went to France where he studied to become a priest. After 14 years of study, he was sent back to Ireland as a Bishop by the Pope.

Once back in Ireland, Maewyn, who by now had changed his name to Patrick, traveled all across the island and established churches and schools. According to legend, he also performed many miracles. One of the best known stories tells of Patrick driving all the snakes out of Ireland.

In the United States, St. Patrick's Day has come to represent the Irish culture and the contributions of its people to the United States.