The young man who would become St Patrick was born to wealthy parents who were not particularly religious, in Britain near the end of the 4th Century. He died March 17 about 460 AD.
At the age of 16, he was taken prisoner by a group of Irish raiders who were attacking his family’s estate. They took him to Ireland, where he spent 6 years in captivity, some say at Mount Slemish in county Antrim. But more likely, he became a shepherd in county Mayo near Killala.
As a shepherd, outdoors, lonely and afraid, he turned to religion, becoming a devout Christian and probably at this time first thought of converting the Irish to Christianity. It was at this time that he heard God’s voice telling him to return to Britain. He escaped after more than 6 years, and walked nearly 200 miles from County Mayo to the coast.
Back in Britain, he immersed himself in religious studies for about 15 years. During this time, he again heard God’s voice telling him to return to Ireland with a two-fold mission. To minister to the Christians already there and begin to convert the Irish who were celebrating with their own pagan rituals.
When he was ordained as a priest, he returned to Ireland to begin his work. Working with the non-Christians, he also let them continue some of their pagan celebrations such as worshiping the Sun.
It is also thought that he illustrated the Holy Trinity – The Father, the Son Jesus and the Holy Spirit – through the 3 leaves of the native Irish Clover, the Shamrock.
Surprisingly, the first St. Patrick’s Day parade was held not in Ireland, but in New York City. On March 17, 1762, Irish soldiers in the British Army marched through the City!
Now, each year on that date, nearly 1½ million people line the 1½-mile parade route that takes about 5 hours. Other cities, Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, Savanna, and San Francisco, among them, also hold parades.
Be sure to check Hurley’s Bar and Grill for a delightful traditional meal this St. Patrick’s Day. Check out the menu and the site
Monday, March 13th, 2013
Of course Chef Hurley is as Irish as it gets and he does his entire St. Patricks Day menu in Gaelic for the day. Bob also does some real classic Irish cuisine and the “in brine for 6 weeks melt in your mouth” corned beef & cabbage. Join us for a pint Guinness or throw back a little…