Kid’s Craic: Who Was St. Patrick? by Dottie Wenger

Gaelic word/phrase:

Colors of the flag of Ireland:

Green–      glas  (glahs)

White-      ban   (bahn)

Orange-    oraiste       (oh-rah-shta)

Who is St. Patrick?

St. Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland, but he was born in Britain to a Roman family in the fourth century.  His original name was Maewyn.  He was taken to Ireland as a slave when he was sixteen years old. In his early twenties, he escaped to France and began to studied for priesthood.   Several years later, he returned to Ireland as a Christian missionary.  He was renamed Patricius, which means “noble” in Latin. St. Patrick introduced the Roman alphabet to Ireland as well as Christianity.  We now celebrate St. Patrick’s Day on the day St. Patrick was thought to have died. 

St. Patrick’s Day Myths: Although St. Patrick was a real person, there are a couple myths that surround him and the holiday named in his honor. 

  1. Patrick chased the snakes out of Ireland by beating a drum.

Actually, snakes never lived in Ireland.  Many of the animals we are familiar with in North America and other parts of Europe aren’t seen in Ireland.  Since it’s an island country, the ocean keeps many of the animals away.

  1. Four-leaf clovers are symbolic of St. Patrick. 

Four-leaf clovers are rare (which is why, if you find one, it’s thought to symbolize good luck!) But it was the three-leaf clover, or shamrock, that St. Patrick used for his religious teachings. The shamrock’s leaves symbolized Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

St. Patrick’s Day Trivia:

The Chicago River in Illinois is dyed green each year in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day!


Literature Highlight:

How to Catch a Leprechaun (image sent separately)

written by Adam Wallace, illustrated by Andy Elkerton. 

A fun story, written in rhyme- a perfect St. Patrick’s Day book for kids ages 4-10






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