Happy St Patrick’s Day
Happy St Patrick’s Day! March 17 is traditionally a day for dressing in green, sinking quite a lot of beer and whiskey and having a good old craic – it’s Ireland’s national day around the world, so to speak. So how much do you know about the man being celebrated? We’ve got the skinny – well, as much as there is available. We are dealing with the Dark Ages here.
Patrick – or Patricius – was most likely born somewhere in Cumbria in the 430s. While he came from a Christian family, he wasn’t all that religious and, like many teenagers, concerned himself with worldly things. Then, one fateful day, he was kidnapped by the pirates that often raided the coastline and carried off across the Irish Sea.
For the next six years, Patrick was kept as a slave. His job was to tend sheep off in isolated paddocks and during this lonely time he began to pray to be released. One day, he is said to have heard a voice telling him he was about to be freed. Rather than wait for it, he escaped cross-country to the coast, where he made his way onboard a ship heading back to the British mainland.
Patrick, with his new-found faith, went off to Europe to be ordained as a priest, studying in what is now France. Then incredibly, decided to return to Ireland to spread the good news – God knows why!
Patrick’s time in Ireland was dangerous and difficult. The clans of Ireland, with their polytheistic faith were often not receptive to his message of ‘one true God’. Some of his companions were killed in the process. It was years before Christianity began to ‘take’ in Ireland and churches began to spring up.
There are many legends told about St Patrick’s missionary work. Perhaps the most famous is his banishment of snakes from Ireland. This one does seem rather dubious as snakes have never been found in Ireland. He is also said to have used a shamrock to explain the concept of the Holy Trinity and to have planted his staff in the ground, causing it to grow into a tree. Fairly impressive, as saints go.
In the end, it is said that Patrick founded over three hundred churches across Ireland, and baptised over 100,000 people. He is thought to have died on March 17, in either 492 or 493 – again, records are sketchy.
Today, St Patrick is venerated as one of Ireland’s greatest icons, and his feast day, by extension, a celebration of everything great about Ireland and being Irish. Pretty good result for an Englishman! Anyway, have a right old craic, and remember – do so responsibly!
We have a range of number plates for those wishing to celebrate Ireland’s favourite son, including SA11 NTY. H6 RPW, C610 VER, PAG 44N, CHU 26H and B155 HOP. Don’t delay, get in touch and let’s see what we can do for you!