Old St Patrick’s Day myths

st pat

Happy St Patrick’s Day



  1. St Patrick single-handedly converted the Irish people to Christianity
    The truth: Historians believe that there were already Christian believers in Ireland by the time Patrick arrived. Ireland also had strong trading links with the Roman empire, and the religion is likely to have been spread.
  2. St Patrick defeated the pagan druids
    The truth: This story is now believed to have been invented by a cleric, Muirchú, who lived two centuries later.
  3. St Patrick droves the snakes from Ireland
    The truth: Well, there are no snakes in Ireland now (apart from those kept in zoos and as pets), but this is may be because there never were any. Another theory is that the last Ice Age was too cold for snakes to survive and then the Irish Sea stopped them from breeding in Ireland.

St Patrick may have been named Maewyn Sucatt but changed his name to Patrick when he became an archbishop.

He may be thought of as Irish now, but his exact birthplace is unknown. It was most likely in England, Wales or Scotland.

In his teens, he was captured by pirates and taken to Ireland, where he was put to work as a herdsman.

After six years, he managed to escape and possibly fled back to his home. He became a Christian priest before returning to Ireland as a missionary in the mid fifth century.

He spent the next 30 years establishing schools, churches, and monasteries across the country.

Patrick was later appointed as successor to St Palladius, the first bishop of Ireland.

He is said to have died in the year 461.

10 thoughts on “Old St Patrick’s Day myths

  1. The ancient tale of St. Patrick driving snakes out of Ireland relates to the serpent symbolism of the Druids. They wore snake tattoos to represent their spirituality, knowledge and gods, and it was Patrick’s mission to banish the old pagan ways and to foster Christianity.

    Snakes have symbolised ideas, or thoughts, in many cultures. The bronze serpent on a pole which Moses held up on high, was symbolic of high spiritual ideals, a counter to the fiery serpents at ground level, the base ideas, that were biting the Israelites.


    • The serpent in Eden was up a tree. Was it there through God’s will, to test mankind? Obviously man was not fit for the knowledge of good and evil, which was the province of God (or ‘Gods’ as Genesis has).

      Did the thought or idea (serpent) prompt them to greater knowledge of what was good and what evil? Or to know (experience) more of both?

      “….some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.” 2 Peter 3:16


  2. Pingback: St. Patrick's Day Lessons Your Kids Will Love - Geez, Gwen!

  3. Pingback: What Did Santa Claus Do On Saint Patrick’s Day? | Mystic Christmas Blog

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