St Patrick's Day

Lá fhéile Pádraig sona daoibh! Happy St Patrick’s day to you all!

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day on Sunday, here are a few interesting St. Patrick’s Day facts!

  • Saint Patrick didn’t wear green. His color was “Saint Patrick’s blue.” The color green became associated with St. Patrick’s Day after it was linked to the Irish independence movement in the late 18th century.
  • St Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, was born Maewyn Succat to a Christian family in Roman Britain in the late fourth century AD. Shortly before he was 16, Patrick was captured from the villa of his father, Calpurnius,by a group of Irish raiders who took him to Ireland and forced him into slavery. Six years later he escaped home to Britain, his religious faith strengthened during his time in slavery. Believing he had been called by God to Christianise Ireland, he later returned to Ireland as a missionary of the Catholic church (adopting the name Patricius, or Patrick, which derives from the Latin for ‘father figure’). He played an important role in converting the native Irish to Christianity, travelling around the country performing baptisms and confirmations.
  • According to Irish legend, Saint Patrick used the shamrock as a metaphor for the Holy Trinity when he was first introducing Christianity to Ireland.
  • Also according to legend, St. Patrick drove all the snakes, or in some translations, "toads," out of Ireland. In reality, this probably did not occur, as there is no evidence that snakes have ever existed in Ireland, the climate being too cool for them to thrive. Despite that, scholars suggest that the term "snakes" may be figurative and refer to pagan religious beliefs and practices rather than reptiles or amphibians.

Siobhan Bloomfield
Assistant Principal, Student Engagement & Wellbeing

St Patrick's Day at St Aloysius College

Our Melbourne Archdiocese cathedral is dedicated to St Patrick, the pioneering Irish bishop who faithfully and courageously led the Church in Ireland and who initiated many changes to that society. Since the Catholic community of Melbourne was at the time of the Cathedral’s construction almost entirely Irish, the Cathedral was dedicated to St Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland.

This week we celebrate Catholic Education Week, an opportunity for all Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Melbourne to celebrate their Catholic identity, culminating with a Mass of St Patrick for Schools which ran today.

St Patrick’s feast day is the 17th of March and the St Patrick’s Breastplate: Prayer For Protection is remembered and recited on this day.

Here is a prayer dedicated to Catholic Education including a snippet of the well-known prayer.

Loving God,
We thank you for our Catholic school communities in the Archdiocese of Melbourne. We pray that we may walk ‘In the light of Christ’ together, as we accompany each other in our learning this year. May the Holy Spirit guide us and give us new eyes, new ears and open hearts, helping us to bring your love to all we encounter.
Dear Saint Patrick, in your humility you called yourself a sinner, but you became a most successful missionary and prompted countless pagans to follow the Saviour.
God our Father, by the help of Saint Patrick’s prayers, may all Christians proclaim your love to all.
Christ be with me and within me. Christ be behind me and before me. Christ be beside me to comfort and restore me. Christ be below and above me in peace and in danger. Christ be within the hearts of all who love me. Christ be in the words of friend and stranger.
We ask this prayer through Jesus our Lord and teacher, Amen.

Michael Chesser
Director, Catholic Mission & Mercy Ethos