Myths and Facts About Legend of St. Patrick and Snakes

Emma | 02 - 21 - 2021
St. Patrick and Snakes

St. Patrick was a 5th-century Christian missionary and bishop in Ireland. He was born in Roman Britain in the 4th AD century in a wealthy family. He was kidnapped at the age of 6 and worked as a shepherd where he “found God” and later Patrick became a priest. It is said that the main purpose of St. Patrick’s visit to Ireland is to convert the pagan Irish to Christianity. Research says that St. Patrick spent many years preaching the northern half of Ireland in which he converted “thousands”. St. Patrick is linked to Ireland’s national emblem. St. Patrick holds the pride of driving the slithering reptiles from Ireland during the fifth century. He climbed the mountain Croagh Patrick and fasted for 40 days before expelling the snakes from Ireland.

St. Patrick Snake Myth

It is said that St. Patrick drove the snakes into the sea after they attacked them during his fast. On the other side, it is said he prayed to banish all snakes from Ireland. Even today you can’t find a snake in Ireland. But the evidence says that there were no snakes in Post-glacial Ireland. On the other side, researchers say 10,000 years ago Ireland was still in the water. It was frozen and the climate is not favorable for cold-blooded creatures to survive. It is believed that the snake story is a metaphor for the eradication of pagan ideology 

Facts About St. Patrick and Snakes

  • Snake have not existed in Ireland for thousands of years
  • This incident is the symbolic representation of Saint Patrick converting the native’s celts, a tribe in Ireland who inhabited before Christianity but followed a different religion
  • St. Patrick drove the pagans from the island to spread Christianity 
  • Research says there are no signs of snakes in the country foil record 

What Did St. Patrick Drive Out of Ireland?
  • A. Snakes
  • B. Turtle
  • C. Lion
  • D. Fox
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