The Meaning of St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated March 17, the date of Saint Patrick’s death in the fifth century. In Ireland this is both a national holiday and a holy day.

As the patron saint of Ireland, Saint Patrick was credited as the person who brought Christianity to the Irish. Although not a legal holiday in the United States, the day is recognized as a celebration of Irish and Irish-American cultures. It is estimated that about 39 million U.S. residents claim Irish ancestry. The day has been celebrated in North America since the late 18th century.

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