The Real(ish) Story of St. Patrick’s Day


Of course everyone knows that St. Patrick is the patron saint of four-leaf clovers because he was partial to the color green.  But there are other little known facts about St. Patrick that the average person might not know.

For instance, back in the days when St. Patrick was alive, they had a lot of snakes slithering around Ireland.  It was really gross.  The whole place just gave you the heebie-jeebies.  As a matter of fact, that is why the Irish Jig was invented – to keep from stepping on them. But that’s another story I haven’t made up yet.

Irish Jig Dancers performing the "Get a load of the size of that one!" twirling leap

Anyway, St. Patrick, who happened to not like snakes very well, decided to take it upon himself to rid the entire continent of Ireland of them. He set about doing this by writing down some goals and sticking them up on the village mirror and by repeating them over and over whenever he had some spare time.

"Six slippery snakes slid slowly seawards . . . six slippery snakes slid slowly seawards . . . "

It must have worked because St. Patrick is credited, history-wise, with getting the entire population of Ireland totally onboard with Christianity, foods that are magically delicious, red hair, and snake ridding.

But it was the snake ridding that really got his name in print. The story goes somewhat but not very much like this:

You see, St. Patrick was nothing if not charming. He had it all, looks, a winning personality and a flashy carriage to cruise around in.  This is a guy who had powers of persuasion up the yin and/or yang.  In fact, when it came to getting his way, St. Patrick would have made Donald Trump look like a fat guy with funny hair — if he hadn’t already been one.

So St. Patrick, being a man of the cloth, (he had a huge and impressive cloth collection) decided that everyone hopping around all the time trying to side step snakes was depleting the citizenry of their usual vim.  (Vigor hadn’t been invented yet.)

It was obvious something needed to be done, post-haste.  And so he decided to “charm” the snakes out of Ireland.  He started by inviting them all over to his house, under the guise of celebrating St. Patrick’s Day and began charming the pants off them (in those days Irish snakes wore plaid pants with little matching berets).  He did this by slathering the blarney on pretty thick and following up with a plethora of pandering and topped off with a prodigious pitcher of empty promises.  Pat was pretty proud.

Then, when he realized he was running low on straws for the rum and cokes, he quickly herded his limbless revelers outside and managed to lure them over the White Cliffs of Dover where they toppled, snake-like, into the sea. Dead as doornails (albeit very large doornails).

And of course, we all know what happened next. St. Patrick painted the White Cliffs of Dover green to commemorate the occasion.

So next time you have a Happy St. Patrick’s Day, you’ll know why.

Until next time . . . I love you

4 thoughts on “The Real(ish) Story of St. Patrick’s Day

  1. Mom I think this is my all time favorite blog you’ve posted. I’m thinking you might have to enter it into some kind of contest. Seriously! It’s more clever than a grassy snakeless knoll.

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