St. Pat’s Pop Quiz

By George P. Matysek Jr. 
gmatysek@CatholicReview.org
St. Patrick is a beloved figure shrouded in as much mythology as fact. How much do you know about the Saint of Ireland, whose feast is March 17?
Find out if the statements below are true or false:
St. Patrick was born in Ireland.

False!
St. Patrick was the son of a noble family in 4th century Roman Britain. He was captured by marauders and sold as a slave in Ireland. He escaped to Gaul before becoming a priest and bishop. He returned to Ireland to convert pagans.

St. Patrick is depicted in a stained-glass window at the Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph in Brooklyn, N.Y. (CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz)
The color associated with St. Patrick is blue.
True!
Originally, blue was most associated with St. Patrick as artists depicted the saint wearing blue vestments. With his ties to Ireland, the “Emerald Isle,” green later also became representative of the saint.
St. Patrick drove out snakes from Ireland.
False!
The popular image of St. Patrick chasing away snakes is symbolic of him driving evil from the Emerald Isle, not of an actual confrontation with slithery foes.
See also: 
image_pdfSave as PDFimage_printSend to Printer

Catholic Review

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.