It’s St. Patrick’s Day! The festivities began around the world. Irish hats, beer and four-leaf clovers are bets.

WHO WAS SAINT PATRICK?

First shock wave: Patrick (the saint) was not Irish by birth. Phew, it’s hard.

Ok, once passed through this ordeal: where was Patrick born? He was born in England in 387, when England was part of the Roman Empire. His first name would have been Maewyn Succat, but the documents we have of him today are all signed “Patricius”.

Like many Catholic saints, he had an amazing life in which legend and reality intertwine with each other. He was first captured by Irishmen and taken to the Green Island, where he was enslaved. Succeeding in getting rid of his fate, he would then return to England, where he became a priest. He then heard “voices” telling him to return to Ireland to convert the wicked pagans. He changed his name, to be considered “the Father” (Patrick, paternal, dad …). He would have also taken advantage of it to get all the snakes out of Emerald Isle (although it is now proven that there have never been snakes in Ireland). He died on March 17, 461, and he was forgotten for a while.

Patrick’s courage and legend (” RAM “) made their way and he was eventually named the patron saint of Ireland (but also of Nigeria ), although he was never officially canonized by the papal power (!).

WHY THIS OBSESSION WITH THREE LEAF CLOVER?

St. Patrick would have chosen a species of three leaf clover to represent the Holy Trinity to Gaelic pagans. This symbol of conversion has become a symbol of Ireland.

According to legend, this three leaf clover is called “Shamrock”. But there is no plant that is so called. Some people believe that St. Patrick’s clover is Trifolium dubium, a species of clover that grows literally like weeds in Ireland and in many places around the world. Others think it’s more like white clover.

Discover in pictures the celebrations of St. Patrick’s Day:

Dublin

LONDON

NEW YORK

VILNIUS (LITHUANIA)