History.com. Impress your friends with this information as you converse over corned beef and cabbage and whatever green beverage you're drinking.
1. St. Patrick was Irish-- Though one of Ireland's patron saints, Patrick was born in what is now England, Scotland or Wales-- interpretations vary widely-- to a Christian deacon and his wife, probably around the year 390.
2. St. Patrick was British-- His birthplace doesn't mean Patrick was a Brit, however—at least not technically. During his lifetime the British Isles were occupied by the Romans, a group that included Patrick's parents and thus the saint himself. It is unknown whether his family—thought to have been part of the Roman aristocracy—was of indigenous Celtic descent or hailed from modern-day Italy.
3. St. Patrick brought Christianity to Ireland-- In 431, before Patrick began preaching in Ireland, Pope Celestine reportedly sent a bishop known as Palladius "to the Irish believing in Christ"—an indication that some residents of the Emerald Isle had already converted by then.
4. St. Patrick banished snakes from the Emerald Isle-- While it's true that the Emerald Isle is mercifully snake-free, chances are that's been the case throughout human history. Water has surrounded Ireland since the end of the last glacial period, preventing snakes from slithering over
5. Green has historically been associated with St. Patrick’s Day-- The Irish countryside may be many shades of green, but knights in the Order of St. Patrick wore a color known as St. Patrick's blue.
6. Popular St. Patrick's Day festivities have their roots in Ireland-- Until the 1700s, St. Patrick's Day was a Roman Catholic feast only observed in Ireland—and without the raucous revelry of today's celebrations. Instead, the faithful spent the relatively somber occasion in quiet prayer at church or at home.
7. Corned beef is a classic St. Patrick's Day dish-- In Ireland... a type of bacon similar to ham is the customary protein on the holiday table.
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