Chapter Ten: St. Patrick’s Day

happy st patricks day

Chapter Ten: St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick’s Day

In the United States and Great Britain, the Irish communities celebrate St. Patrick’s Day on 17 March. The Irish community in the United States is very big. During the 1800’s thousands of Irish immigrants went to America. They settled in all parts of the country and took their traditions with them.

Who was St. Patrick and why is he important to the Irish?
St. Patrick is the patron① of Ireland. He left several writings about his life and work in Ireland. Patrick was born in Britain in 389 AD. His father was a landowner② and a Christian. When Patrick was 16 years old he was captured and taken to Ireland. He became a slave. After six years Patrick escaped to France by ship. There he became a priest③.

He returned to Ireland as a bishop④ in 432 AD. His missionary⑤ work was very successful. He converted⑥ most of the Irish to Christianity. He was a generous and dedicated⑦ man. He introduced the Roman alphabet⑧ to Ireland.

There are legends about St. Patrick. One legend says that he banished⑨ all
the serpents⑩ from Ireland. Another legend says that he used a shamrock11 to teach the Irish about the Trinity. Today the shamrock is still a symbol of Ireland and the Irish.

① patron:保护神。
② landowner:地主。
③ priest:神职人员。
④ bishop:主教。
⑤ missionary:传教的。
⑥ converted:转变。
⑦ dedicated:有献身精神的。
⑧ the Roman alphabet:罗马字母的。
⑨ banished: 驱逐。
⑩ serpents:毒蛇。
11. shamrock:三叶草。

St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick died in 461 and his tomb at Downpatrick is a centre of pilgrimage①.
Today on 17 March there are big parades in most American cities in honour of② the Irish. Marching bands dressed in green play lively③ Irish music. The Irish community organises parades and other colourful events. American and British people wear green clothing on St. Patrick’s Day. Most people wear a green shamrock. Many shops and restaurants are decorated with green shamrocks in honour of the Irish.

① pilgrimage:朝圣。
② in honour of:纪念。
③ lively:欢快的。

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