Who Is Patrick? And Why Do We Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?Michael Harrell
About 250 years ago in Boston and New York, Irish immigrants held informal commemorations of an otherwise obscure canonized saint. Today, Saint Patrick is widely known in Catholic and Protestant circles and cultural celebrations of Irish-ness occur every year. Indeed, at 249 years, New York City's annual parade is the oldest in the world, and a classic civic institution, beating the famed Thanksgiving Day Parade by over a century. But who is Patrick, and why do we celebrate Saint Patrick's Day? Well, let's start with the man himself.