St. Patrick’s Day--History Edition

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Malle Babbe by Frans Hals at the Old Masters Picture Gallery

To show how far this game of telephone that we call “St. Patrick’s Day” has gone, I’m going to tell you the real story of St. Patrick while showing you paintings depicting alcoholics.

Patrick was born in Roman Britain. His dad was a deacon and his grandpa was a priest, but Patrick dgaf about Christianity. But then at age 16, he was kidnapped by Irish pirates (starring Johnny Depp). He was brought to Ireland and forced into slavery as a shepherd (typical), which eventually led to his call to God. I imagine it was sort of like when you have a bad day and everything seems bleak and horrible but all of a sudden chocolate pops into your head and then you buy one of those bars of chocolate from Trader Joe’s that weighs a pound. So he became a Christian.


Drunk Silenus by Anthony van Dyck at the Old Masters Picture Gallery

One day he heard a voice tell him to go to the port because a ship was waiting for him, so he did, and there was. Except it wasn’t exactly waiting for him because he had to convince them to take him, but what are the chances that there was a ship in the port?!

So eventually after a series of wacky adventures, he returns home and gets even more Christian. He then went back to Ireland as a missionary.


Wine is a Mocker by Jan Steen at the Norton Simon Museum

At this point you might be thinking that this is the part where he drives out all the snakes. But guess what? There were no snakes. Ever. It’s a known fact that a single snake has never existed in Ireland ever.* Patrick drove out the Pagans

To be fair, he tried to convert them first, then he tried to subjugate them, so the only Pagans he drove off were the stubborn ones (mostly Celts, so if you’re a Celtics fan you should hate Patrick and boycott St. Patricks Day).

And then he became St. Patrick. From Starfish to Star!


-Shamrocks are used to celebrate St. Patricks day because he used them to explain the holy trinity. Shamrocks are different than four-leaf clovers. 

-The number three was already significant in Ireland because of the Pagans so I feel like if they had that in common he shouldn’t have been so rude to them

-For a little bit St. Patrick was associated with the color blue instead of green


The Drinkers by Vincent van Gogh at the Art Institute of Chicago


-by Maya

*This is an alternative fact.

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Maya Jacobson


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