Try a few of these cool tidbits on your friends. Drinking with them while doing so is optional.
1. Let us guess: you've always figured St. Patrick was Irish. No way, Jose. Although this ancient fellow earned his place in world history by introducing Christianity to Ireland in the year 432, Patrick wasn’t Irish himself. The best evidence is that he was born to a Roman mom & dad in Nuestria, which is believed to have been, "north of the land of Franks."
2. Before he became known as Patricius - "Father of the Citizens" - the boy went by his real name - Maewyn Succat. Say that three times after a swig something stout.
3. When he was about 16, Maewyn was kidnapped by a gang of Irish pirates after an attack on his family's estate, along the coast of Scotland. It was the year 426. He was taken to Ireland and sold as a teenage slave. He then was forced to tend sheep in the fields for 6 years, until he escaped and returned home.
4. St, Patrick is not only the Patron Saint of Ireland. He is also the Patron Saint of Australia, Nigeria, and Montserrat.
5. The Shamrock - according to legend - was Patrick's tool that he used to explain the Holy Trinity, made up of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. He is said to have used the three leaves on an Irish clover, as a way of showing the 3 distinct characters of the Christian God.
6. St. Patrick never wore green. He wore light blue clothing everywhere he went, as a Catholic missionary.
7. Two body parts of St. Patrick exist, in Northern Ireland. One is his right hand, kept in the Ulster Museum. St. Patrick's jawbone is preserved in a Down and Connor parish church.
8. St. Patrick is not the only Saint of Ireland. Saint Kevin, Saint Brigid, Saint Brendan, Saint Columba, and Saint Plunkett are all very well known there, but not to the rest of the world.
9. For many, many years there was no drinking in Ireland on this special day. For most of the 20th century, Saint Patrick’s Day was considered a strictly religious holiday in Ireland. The pubs were closed on March 17.
10. There are a registered 7,000,000 newborn males worldwide, known to have been dubbed after St. Patrick of Ireland.
And one of them is this author.
"Erin Go Bragh!"