St. Patrick’s Day History – Beer History

St. Patrick began as a humble Christian missionary in Ireland. But somehow his legend became an excuse for millions around the world to get plastered on whiskey and Irish stouts. Today we examine how the death of a single missionary turned into a celebration of all things Irish.

And to get in the celebration mood we share this easy recipe How to brew Dry Irish Stout Easy Guide.

Poster for St. Patrick's Day celebration.
Credit: https://www.kulr8.com/news/st-patrick-s-day-events-scheduled-for-downtown-billings/article_14d0953b-3e1f-5262-942b-996dc2dc20a8.html

The Story of St. Patrick

Patrick was born in the 4th century AD. A son to the Roman British officer Calpurnius. As a boy, a band of pirates kidnapped Patrick from the South of Wales and sold him into slavery in Ireland. It is said after 6 years in slavery he had a dream from God that guided him to the ship that allowed him to escape to Britain and eventually to France. Where he studied under St. Germain.

After 12 years in training and with the Pope’s blessing. He was sent to Ireland as a missionary. Where he traveled the countryside winning converts and establishing monasteries. By the time he died in the year 461 Ireland was well on its way to being a Catholic nation.

Interestingly because the Catholic Church initialized sainthood at the regional level for hundreds of years. St.Patrick was never formally canonized by a Pope. However, he was granted a feast day in the 17th century to commemorate his day of death, March 17th.

A painted image of St. Patrick.
Credit: https://www.history.com/topics/st-patricks-day/who-was-saint-patrick

St. Patricks Day Celebrations

St. Patrick Day was celebrated long before the 17th century. St Patricks Feast day as a kind of national day was already being celebrated by the Irish in Europe in the 9th and 10th centuries. In later times he became more widely seen as the patron saint of Ireland. And as such in 1903 St. Patrick Day became an official public holiday in Ireland.

The first St. Patrick Day parade in Ireland was held in Waterford in 1903. The week of St. Patrick Day of 1903 had been declared Irish language week by the Gaelic League in Waterford.

Outside of Ireland, many nations with sizeable Irish immigrant populations celebrate the day. St. Patrick Day while not a legal holiday in the US is widely recognized and observed throughout the country as a celebration of Irish and Irish American culture. One of the longest-running and largest St Patrick Day parades in North America occurs each year in Montreal. The yearly celebration has been organized by the United Irish Society in Montreal since 1929. The parade has been held yearly wihtout interruption since 1824.

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