I'm back! I've had issues getting my blog to work but just in time for St. Patrick's Day we got it figured out. :)
The man we know as St. Patrick wasn't Irish or named Patrick! In fact he was born in Great Britain and named Maewyn Succat and not religious. He was kidnapped and sold into slavery by Irish marauders when he was 16 and formed his religious beliefs while enslaved. After he escaped back to England he became ordained as a priest and returned to Ireland to convert the Irish Celtic pagans to Christianity.
The first St. Patrick's Day parade was actually held in New York in 1762 when the Irish soldiers serving in the English military during the Revolutionary war marched through the city to celebrate the religious feast day and their Irish roots. The first parade in Ireland was held in Dublin in 1931.
According to a US Census there are more Irish people in America than in Ireland. As of 2003 there were more than 34 million Americans that had Irish ancestry. The population of Ireland is just more than 4 million. Of course we are all a wee bit Irish today!
Happy St. Patrick's Day!