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Profile of the Day: St. Patrick

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Celebrated annually on March 17 for over a thousand years, this Irish cultural and religious holiday honors the memory of St. Patrick, Ireland’s patron saint.

Image: St. Patrick / Library of Congress

At the age of 16, Patrick was kidnapped from his home by pirates and taken to Ireland. During his enslavement, he discovered his call to Christianity and escaped his captors after six years. He returned to Ireland as a missionary and spread the teachings of Christianity throughout country. His memory is celebrated every year on the anniversary of his death.

Overtime, the mythology surrounding his life became even more ingrained in Irish culture. One such example is the shamrock, the ubiquitous symbol of the holiday. Legend has it that St. Patrick once used a three-leaved shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity to Irish pagans.

Explore St. Patrick’s family tree and share how you’re related!

View St. Patrick’s Geni Profile

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