CELEBRATE ST PATRICK’S DAY
The Feast of St Patrick, on 17 March, may well be the most internationally celebrated of all the saints days, but few know much about the man himself. The patron saint of Ireland, or Maewyn Succat as it’s believed he was once called, was born in Roman Britain in 385AD but was kidnapped by Irish pirates when he was 16 and shipped as a slave to Ireland. After escaping six years later, he became a Christian priest and then a bishop, eventually returning as a missionary and playing a major role in converting the country to Christianity. The day of his death has been marked as a feast day since the 17th century and, historically, the Lenten restrictions on eating and drinking were lifted for the occasion, hence the holiday’s tradition of imbibing alcohol.