St. Patrick, (Stained glass window in St. Cartha's Church, Kilcar
ST. PATRICK Although St. Patrick was not born in Ireland he is nonetheless inextricably linked to Ireland. He was probably born in Britain, possibly Wales and died on the 17th of March 493 AD and is said to be buried in either Downpatrick, County Down, Ireland or Glastonbury, England, depending on which book you read.
Legend says St. Patrick cast all the snakes out of Ireland. He is said to have stood on a hill and using a wooden staff, he drove the snakes out. One old serpent refused to go and St. Patrick then had to use cunning to rid Ireland of this last snake. St. Patrick made a box and invited the snake to enter but the snake insisted that the box was too small and after much debate and argument, the snake eventually entered the box to prove to St. Patrick that the box was indeed too small. However St. Patrick quickly slammed the lid shut and cast the box into the sea thus riding Ireland of all snakes. And to this day, outside of snakes in zoos or as pets, Ireland has no snakes
St. Patrick is most famously the patron saint of Ireland, however he is also the patron saint of: ~ Nigeria ~ French fishermen ~ Engineers
ST. PATRICK'S DAY The 17th of March (the date of his death), St. Patrick's Day, is celebrated more or less worldwide and the day is the most celebrated saints day in the world.
There are St. Patrick's Day parades held worldwide and the first St. Patrick's Day celebration took place in a bar called the Crown & Thistle in New York City in 1756 although the event was being celebrated in a smaller way in Boston, USA since around 1737. The day has been celebrated in Montreal, Canada since 1824. There are also parades held in Paris, Rome, Munich, Moscow, Beijing, Honk Kong, Singapore, and Copenhagen to name a few. In America parades have been held in the following cities since early days:
~ Philadelphia since 1780 ~ Savanah, Georgia since 1813 ~ Carbondale, Pennsylvania since 1833 ~ Chicago, Illinois since 1843 ~ New Haven, Conneticut since 1845 ~ San Franscisco since 1852
In 1948 Harry Truman became the first American president to attend a St. Patrick's Day parade (in New York city).
ST. PATRICK'S DAY CARDS To view our collection of old St. Patrick's Day postcards which date from the end of the 19th century CLICK HERE