St. Patrick’s Day
Ireland and Romance Fiction
by Melissa Alvarez
There is something about Ireland that draws writers of romance to use the country as settings in their books. And there are a lot of romance readers out there who love books set in Ireland. Being of Irish descent I couldn’t let St. Paddy’s Day pass us by without at least giving a brief history of the day for all those readers and writers who love Ireland.
St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated all over the world on March 17 in honor of St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland.
St. Patrick’s real name is thought to have been Maewyn Succat and he had Gaelic orgins. He migrated to Britain and upon his baptism was given the name Patricus (Patrick). At the age of sixteen Patrick was captured by pirates and was enslaved for six years. He escaped the pirates and went to France. It was in France that Patrick became a priest. But Ireland was his home and eventually Patrick returned to his native land. He preached the word of Christ, established a number of churches, colleges, and schools around the country. His influence on Ireland made him a national hero in the eyes of the people and also the hero of different legends. He worked in Ireland as a missionary for 40 years and was ordained as the Bishop of Ireland in 431 AD.
According to one legend, St. Patrick drove the snakes from the Ireland, but it’s thought to be a metaphorical way of saying that St. Patrick drove the pagan forces from the country. Another legend says that St. Patrick used the Shamrock to preach the concept of the Christian Trinity to the people of Ireland. Each leaf represented God, The Holy Spirit and the Son of Christ (Jesus).
But what about a four leaf clover? Legend has it that four leaf clovers hold the luck of the Irish and if you find one that good luck will be yours. Or, according to another legend, if you wish to see the “Little People” just look while you’re holding a four leaf clover. Either way, may the luck of the Irish be with you all on this St. Patrick’s Day!