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Who was St Patrick?

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On the seventeenth of March everyone becomes Irish. No matter how small the link they say they are related in some way to someone Irish. The reason is that this is St Patrick day and he is the patron saint of Ireland. In modern times it seems to be a day to wear leprechaun hats, drink Guinness with a shamrock on the top and wear one of the many Aran Sweaters available from However, for many this is the most religious day in the calendar. It is a time for thanks and contemplation. Who was the Saint?

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Patrick or Padraig was not Irish. He came to the island from Roman Britain with a view to convert the pagan Gael’s to the one true religion. He was returning after briefly being a slave there in his youth. He was chosen for his experience as he would understand the natives.

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He was extremely successful by banishing all the snakes in Ireland and using a shamrock to explain the Holy trinity. He still faced many issues. As he would not accept gifts it put him at odds with the Gaels views on kinship. However despite these setbacks he was able to convert the Gaels to Christianity and this still persists to this day.

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