The Real(ish) Story of St. Patrick

Of course everyone knows that St. Patrick is the patron saint of four-leaf clovers because he was partial to the color green.  But there are other little known facts about St. Patrick that the average person might not know.

For instance, back in the days when St. Patrick was alive, they had a lot of snakes slithering around Ireland.  It was really gross.  The whole place just gave you the heebie-jeebies.  As a matter of fact, that is why the Irish Jig was invented – to keep from stepping on them. But that’s another story I haven’t made up yet.

Irish Jig Dancers performing the “Get a load of the size of that one!” twirling leap
Anyway, St. Patrick, who happened to not like snakes very well, decided to take it upon himself to rid the entire island of them. He set about doing this by writing down some goals and sticking them up on the village mirror and by repeating them over and over whenever he had some spare time.

“Six slippery snakes slid slowly seawards . . . six slippery snakes slid slowly seawards . . . “

It must have worked because St. Patrick is credited, history-wise, with getting the entire population of Ireland totally onboard with Christianity, foods that are magically delicious, and snake ridding.

But it was the snake ridding that really got his name in print. The story goes somewhat but not very much like this:

You see, St. Patrick was nothing if not charming. He had it all, looks, a winning personality and a flashy carriage to cruise around in.  This is a guy who had powers of persuasion in spades.

So St. Patrick, being a man of the cloth, (he had a huge and impressive cloth collection) decided that everyone hopping around all the time trying to side step snakes was depleting the citizenry of their usual vim.  (Vigor hadn’t been invented yet.)

It was obvious something needed to be done, post-haste.  And so he decided to “charm” the snakes out of Ireland. 

He started by inviting all the snakes over to his house, under the guise of celebrating St. Patrick’s Day and began charming the pants off them (In those days Irish snakes wore plaid pants with little matching berets.)  He did this by slathering the blarney on pretty thick and following up with a plethora of pandering and topped off with a prodigious pitcher of empty promises.  Pat was pretty proud.

Then, when he realized he was running low on straws for the rum and cokes, he quickly herded his limbless revelers outside and managed to lure them over the White Cliffs of Dover where they toppled, snake-like, into the sea where they became dead as doornails (Albeit very large doornails).

And of course, we all know what happened next. St. Patrick painted the White Cliffs of Dover green to commemorate the occasion.

So next time you have a Happy St. Patrick’s Day, you’ll know why.

Until next time . . . I love you

12 thoughts on “The Real(ish) Story of St. Patrick

  1. Splendid stuff Linda…if the truth be told the island that is Ireland, being cut off as it were, never had snakes in the first place but best we keep that a secret methinks! How the devil are you by the way?

    • Oh so that really didn’t happen? Well I’ll drink! I’m good and how are you? I’ve been on blogging dryspell, but you seem to be plugging away rather nicely Mike as per your usual!

  2. Thank you Misty, for enlightening my mind (as I wish you could also “enlighten” my waistline). You are well informed on All things Irish GREAT and small. As our resident Erinologist [derived from the term Eireologist, which was too hard to say], can you confirm that it was indeed Saint Paddy who turned all the corned beef from a melt in your mouth smoothness surpassed only by filet mignon into the tough stringiness we have today, because he thought that it was a sin to enjoy food that much ? Or was that just one of those “oopsie” miracles that happened after a long night at the pub ?
    One final question – am I asking too many questions ?

    • Well, it was my pleasure enlightening your mind Nick or do you prefer Sous? Anytime you need your mind enlightened, all you need to do is call me. Let me consult my brain, Peanuts, about the stringiness of the corned beef. There’s gotta be an, unruly, foolish, surreal explanation that is just waiting to be given life. If you need me I’ll be in the kitchen knitting a sweater out of my Irish Corn Beef dinner!

      • Thank you for your offer of mind-lightening – heavy mental ponderings can benefit from flashes of enlightening, or even from enlightning. See, I need some already.
        If you have any left-overs in the kitchen, could you please knit me a mitten (a knitten ?) – I only need one. No, I have two hands, but I’m very lazy, and seldom use both at the same time.

        • “All I know about you for certain is that you are lazy through and through . . . “Abraham Lincoln to Mary or his vice-president or both.

          I am laughing so much at Knitten. LOL!!!

        • After two fokkin’ hours of staring at the reply box, I have decided that this man has a’ready said what I said before him, only he got there first.

  3. You knit?

    Oh, wait. Okay. Hmm. The title made me giggle, which lasted all the way through to the drunk snakes. It must have been fun to just let go with all mental restraint like that… right?

    Or, was it the green beer?

    Never mind. I had fun. Hope y’all did too, cuz the snakes didn’t.


    P.S. Re: briskets. Try roasting with the fat on, then trim before serving. Keeps moisture inside.


  4. Ned, I think you just hit the (deader than a door) nail on the head. I lack mental restraint. Which would explain my failure to thrive in society! HA! I knew I had something to blame it on, well, that and snakes. And when you think about it, snakes are a good excuse for just about everything. Anytime you fail to meet a deadline or fall short in any area of life, you simply give a one word explanation: “snake” And, frankly, I can’t think of a single instance it wouldn’t work for. “Why didn’t you pay your taxes? “Snake.” or “What happened to your hair?” “Snake.” See? It works for everything!

  5. Whoa! I got here just in time– St. Patrick’s Day is almost over! (We celebrate it on June 12th here in Nude Hamster, because we never quite got the hang of Daylight O’Savings Time, and we’ve lost a few months over the years, along with all our marbles… : )

    My dear Linda! This post was a revelation! I never knew St. P. practiced motivational therapy by writing on his bathroom mirror with green toothpaste! And the thought of snakes wearing plaid pants made me flip my plaid beret, as did the newfound knowledge that vim predated vinegar. Er, vigor!! The Green Cliffs O’ Dover Sole was de topper– what a patsy St. Prankster was!! And vice-versa!!

    Sorry to have been a stranger, amigo– hope all’s well with you and good ol’ 38 and five-eighths!! : )

    • Hi Mark! Well not only is the great state of Nude Hamster a little behind. So is the state of affairs in my brain, Peanuts! I think you wrote this comment a month ago today or there abouts. Well, I’m so happy I could educate you on little know St. Patrick’s rather odd history (that all the text books thought better about including in their chapter on St. Patrick if indeed there was one). It is so good to see your smiling face! Let’s keep in touch. I’ll write a 4th or July post here pretty soon. Expect it around December 25 if not later. Take care Markie McGiggles!

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