Thought I'd share some interesting facts/myths/legends about St. Patrick's Day..
1. The most famous legend regarding St. Patrick is that he rid Ireland of snakes by ringing his bell from the top of Croagh Patrick, the 2500 feet tall, conical mountain near Westport. Of course this isn't a true fact, but makes for an amusing anecdote. The mountain however has become a place of annual pilgrimage. There is an ancient church at the top and at the base a natural spring well known as Patrick's well or Tobair Padraig - St. Patrick supposedly baptized the first Irish converts at this well.
2. St. Patrick is also supposed to have rid Ireland - specifically County Donegal - of a fierce lake monster. After he had killed it, the blood turned the lake red and so since then the lake has been known as Red Lake or Lough Derg. It is now a pilgrimage place and many people go there between 1 June and 15 August in the fond hope that the journey will rid them of all their sins.
3. It is wholly due to St. Patrick’s French sojourn that Hawthorn bushes bloom in the winter in the Loire Valley. He crossed the Loire River, hung his cape to dry on a Hawthorn bush, and that is how this miracle came about.
4. St. Patrick did not always have a saintly temper. Sometimes he lost it and let the curses fly. Some of his curses, with the help of geographical occurrences, worked - like the one that made a certain field sink under the sea and thereby useless for cultivation. St. Patrick's oxen had been refused permission to graze there and that had riled him a bit.
5. St. Patrick had a strong sense of justice. Once he cured a blind man, but a certain individual who had laughed at the blind fellow promptly went blind alongside.
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