Saturday, June 10, 2023

Little Known Facts About St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick’s Day is a national holiday in America where many don green and hand out pinches all the while claiming Irish heritage, yours truly included.

All the while here are some little-known facts of St. Patrick’s Day to brush up on while defending the authenticity of one’s heritage.

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The spelling of the name “Paddy” is correct, instead of “Patty.” Paddy comes from the Gaelic name Pádraig. That name translates to Patrick in English so it’s more correct than saying Patty which is understood as a diminutive of Patricia. If anyone tries to argue there is a website that will deliver Irish chastising on the improper spelling.

Although the feast day began in Ireland the first St. Patrick’s Day parade was in America. It is believed the first St. Patrick’s Day parade took place in Boston in 1737 when members of the Charitable Irish Society, after a few drinks, took to the streets to encourage more people to join them.

St. Patrick was not Irish. He was born in Great Britain and first appeared in Ireland as a captive slave. After his escape, he then had a vision of Irish people, in one voice, asking him to return: “We beg you, holy boy, to come and walk again among us.” There is more to read about St. Patrick’s life and works in Ireland in the auto-biography, dated fifth century and attributed to him, available here.

St. Patrick is the most well-known early-Irish bishop and missionary but St. Palladius was the first Irish bishop of the Christians in Ireland and immediate predecessor to St. Patrick. He came to Ireland in 430 A.D., according to Catholic Online.

St. Patrick’s famous use of the shamrock to explain the concept of the Trinity to pagans hasn’t appeared in any written accounts until the 18th century which makes this story dubious at best. The Irish pubs used to close on St. Patrick’s Day in honor of the religious holiday until 1970s.

The original color associated with St. Patrick was blue which can be seen on ancient Irish flags and on the Irish special forces. The Irish presidential flag is also this shade of blue, named “St. Patrick’s Blue.”

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Callie Daniels is a staff writer for She can be reached at