Saint Patrick’s Day…off campus alas



March 17th marks Saint Patrick’s Day in celebration of patron saint of Ireland

Flannery Moore, Culture Editor

March 17th. Saint Patricks’ Day – also commonly known as the day when people wear green and claim Irish heritage (regardless of how true this claim is.) 

Who was Saint Patrick, and what should we actually be doing in his memory? Consider this the SparkNotes answer to that question. 

Saint Patrick was the patron saint of Ireland and is commonly credited with introducing Christianity to Ireland. While it remains unknown when he was born, there is a solid amount of historical evidence indicating that his ministering, converting, and baptizing took place in the second half of the fifth century. 

It is fairly certain that he was born in Britain to a Romanized family and spent several years in his youth in slavery in Ireland after being kidnapped away from his family at the age of 16. During this time he fell back on his Christian faith with zeal. He was kidnapped for a second time before being reunited with his family and eventually realizing that he was called to minister to the Irish people. 

He credits this mission with a dream he was given (as cited in his Confessio), in which he was given a letter titled “The Voice of the Irish.” As the title indicates, the letter revealed to him the voice of the Irish, begging him to return to Ireland and live among its people. Other highlights of St. Patrick’s include the time he, legend has it, drove the snakes out of Ireland and into the sea, as well as his alleged invention of the shamrock as a representation of the Holy Trinity.

Thanks to for this overview of Saint Patrick’s life, it’s time to turn to the way that Saint Anselm students observe the memory of the man who spread the Christian faith to Ireland. 

March 17th 2022 is unique in that it falls during the College’s spring break. Speculation has it that this was an intentional decision on the part of administration after the COVID outbreak following St. Patrick’s Day weekend in the spring 2021 semester, but regardless it means that students will not be on campus for typical celebrations of the holiday. 

While celebrations of the holiday may have originated in honor of a patron saint of Ireland, it evolved into a much broader celebration of Irish culture when brought to the United States by Irish immigrants. This aspect of observing the holiday seems to remain much more prevalent on the Saint Anselm College campus.