Who was St. Patrick? Was he Irish? (The History Channel)
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St. Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland, but was he really Irish? Get the answer now and many more. The life of St Patrick explained in this fun video.


Every March 17th, people the world over don their best attire and celebrate what it means to be Irish in honour of St Patrick’s Day.  But who was St Patrick? And was he even Irish? The answer might surprise you.

In fact, the beloved apostle and patron saint of Ireland was not born on the Emerald Isle. But that’s about all we know for sure. In Patrick’s autobiography, he writes that he was born in a village called Bannavem Taberniae, but you won’t find that name on any map of Britain today.  Experts disagree about where exactly it was located. It may have been in England, Scotland or Wales.

What is clear is that Patrick was born an aristocrat, and his family had a large estate. They were Christian, but the young boy showed little interest in religion. Soon, all that would change. At the age of 16, Patrick was kidnapped by a group of Irish raiders, and would spend the next 6 years in captivity working as a sheep herder. Lonely and scared, Patrick turned to his family religion for solace and became a devout Christian.

As the story goes, one day he heard a voice which he believed to be God, telling him it was time to leave Ireland.  After walking for 200 miles to Ireland’s eastern coast, Patrick found passage on a ship. He sailed home to Britain and his family, but could not forget Ireland and the Irish people. In a dream, an angel told him to return to Ireland as a missionary.

After years of study, Patrick was ordained as a priest, and headed back to the island he had come to know as a prisoner. For the next 40 years, he would travel far and wide across Ireland, working to spread the Christian faith among the Celtic pagan population.

After Patrick’s death, on March 17, 461, his legend only spread. Thanks to a mixture of truth and myth passed down through the centuries, he became a super hero of the Christian Church and a symbol of Irish pride.


DON= (old fashioned) If you don a sweater, trousers, shoes, etc., you put them on.

ATTIRE= Clothes

BELOVED= (old fashioned or biblical) Loved, dear, cherished.

APOSTLE= /əpɒsəl/ A Christian saint that spreads Christianity (especially to refer to the 12 original apostles chosen by Jesus or to St Paul of Tarsus)

THE EMERAL ISLE= The isle of Ireland.

LOCATED= (formal) Placed, situated.

ESTATE= Farm lands.

KIDNAPPED= Taken away by force.

RAIDERS= People who attack quickly and then leave.

IN CAPTIVITY= In prison.

A SHEEP HERDER= A shepherd, someone who takes care of the sheep and lead them to the pastures.

SCARED= Fearful, afraid.

TURNED TO= If you turn to a person or idea, you look for help in them.

SOLACE= (formal) /sɒləs/ Comfort, peace.

DEVOUT= /dɪvt/ Very religious, pious.

AS THE STORY GOES= According to the story.

PASSAGE= A place on a ship or plain to travel as a passenger.

SAILED= Travelled by boat/ship.

MISSIONARY= /mɪʃənərɪ/ A religious person who goes to another country to help people and usually to spread his religion too.

ORDAINED= To be a priest you need a special and holy ceremony in which you are “ordained” through the blessing of God.

PRIEST= A catholic leader of a group of Christians.

HEADED TO= Went to.

FAR AND WIDE CROSS...= Everywhere, all over the land.

CELTIC= /keltɪk/ (also /seltɪk/) A Indoeuropean people who lived all over Western Europe before the Romans began the expansion of their empire. 

PAGAN= A person whose religion is not Jewish, Christian or Muslim.

DEATH= The state of being dead. After his death = After he died.

SPREAD= If a piece of information or idea spread, more and more people get it.

MYTH= Legend.

PASSED DOWN= Going from parents to children, from generation to generation.

PRIDE= A sense of one's own proper dignity or value; self-respect.