It’s almost St. Patrick’s Day! Can you believe how fast the year is flying by already? We’re fast approaching a time of alleged leprechauns [an American invention, though], rainbows, and symbolic horseshoes – at least where I’m from. Hope you’re excited to celebrate whatever way you and yours do best – Wild West Irish Tours is doing so by chatting a bit about the man himself…

St Patrick’s Holy Well
St. Patrick’s Holy Well

Here are 5 facts about St. Patrick and his day that you might not know.

1. Not exactly the Tooth Faery –

But definitely some dentistry involved. While visiting Killaspugbrone, a church in the Heart of Ireland’s Wild West, St. Patrick slipped and lost a tooth, which ended up enshrined in a box of gold, silver, and amber – before it mysteriously disappeared. No coin or clue was left in its place, though – however, you can find out more about this particular mystery in our special feature with our partners, the Wild Geese here.

Killaspugbrone cross marker
Killaspugbrone cross marker

2. We invite you to stay seated

Along with a tooth and several other artifacts affiliated with the Saint in question, St. Patrick also has what is known as the Wishing Chair. We know where to find it in the Wild West of Ireland – and we also know that if you sit in this chair and make a wish, chances are, it’ll come true in just one year. The trick is, however, that you can’t share what you wished – or it won’t reach fruition.

Wild Westie Betty on the Wishing Chair
Wild Westie Betty on the Wishing Chair

3. Without Waterford, we wouldn’t be celebrating

Or, more accurately, thanks to a Franciscan monk from Waterford, Ireland – Luke Wadding was determined to turn St. Patrick’s date of death into that of a recognized holiday. An independent and driven man, Wadding also founded an Irish college for those who wished to enter priesthood. He was a part of a few movements of Irish independence, such as the Irish Catholic Uprising – and some might argue the insistence of St. Patrick’s Day being embraced nationally [and by the Catholic Church] was an act of rebellion in and of itself – a statement from an Irishman who would not defer to English opposition.

4. A rough start

Patrick, like many saints, had complicated origins. Born to Roman parents in either Wales or Scotland [at the time, Roman-occupied Britain] he was actually brought to Northern Ireland as a slave. Though he escaped his bondage, he returned to Ireland to spread the word of Christianity – following a holy vision.

 

Irish landscape
Bonus fact: St. Patrick was originally associated with blue, not green…

5. The shamrock was a teaching tool

When on his missions in Ireland, St. Patrick utilized the shamrock to explain the concept of the Holy Trinity: three leaves sprouting from the same stalk. As such, the shamrock became an inseparable symbol from St. Patrick and his teachings – no wonder we see it everywhere in Ireland; and especially on St. Patrick’s Day.

shamrocks

 

Surprised by any of these? Please comment below and share with a friend on social media by use of the buttons adjacent.

Until next time, be well!

Sam Fishkind, Scribe
Wild West Irish Tours

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