This man was born somewhere near the end of the fourth century. He changed his name to Patrick or Patricus after he became a priest. At the age of 16 he was kidnapped from his native land of Britian by a band of pirates who sold him into slavery in Ireland. He worked as a shepherd and turned to religion for solace. After six years of slavery he escaped to the northern coast of Gaul where he studied in the monastery under St. Germain, bishop of Auxerre for twelve years. He came to believe that it was his calling to convert the pagans of Ireland to Christianity. Patrick was about sixty years old when he arrived in Ireland and it is said that he had a winning personality that helped him win converts. he taught the concept of the trinity by using a shamrock, a three-leafed clover. (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit).
Patrick was arrested several times, but escaped each time. He traveled throughout Ireland, establishing monasteries and setting up schools and churches to aid in converting the Irish country to Christianity. Legend has it that Saint Patrick drove all the snakes out of Ireland. Evidently, they all went into the sea and drowned. The snake is a pagan symbol and perhaps this is a figurative tale explaining that he drove paganism out of Ireland.
Patrick's mission in Ireland lasted for thirty years. He then retired to County Down and died on March 17 in 461 AD. That day has been commemorated as St. Patrick's Day ever since. The first year St. Patrick's Day was celebrated in this country was 1737 in Boston, Massachusetts. As the saying goes, on this day "everybody is Irish!" Over 100 U.S. cities now hold Saint Patrick's Day parades.If you want to learn more go to. http://holidays.kaboose.com/patrick-history.html