Every year on March 17th, the Irish and others all around the globe honor the most prominent Patron Saint of Ireland (St. Patrick)

On this day, thousands gather sporting their green gear full of cheer, laughter and most likely a large glass of Guinness to hand.

Although the above is typically what comes to mind when this time of year is upon us, we should not forget the history behind this joyful day.

While not much is known about his early life, letters from St. Patrick disclose he was captured in Wales, Scotland or an area close to/outside of Ireland and taken to Ireland as a slave. He escaped years later and returned to his Roman family, who were living in Britain. Heading back to Ireland for (mission) work and finding a place as a cleric, then Bishop within the Christian faith.

St. Patrick was born around 460- he was known as the Patron Saint of Ireland by the 600’s.

Interestingly since 1961, St. Patrick has also been observed as a Patron Saint of Nigeria, this country is home to around 20 million Catholics.

The Charitable Irish Society organized the first celebrations of St. Patrick’s day. This took place in America in 1737.