Freshly Pressed

Caethiwed (Kidnapped)


I wonder what St Patrick would say if he saw how many cheap and tacky plastic products were being manufactured to 'celebrate' him today?

Take this photo for example, taken from a quick search on It's most likely American, given the absence of the obligatory pint of Guinness, brewed at St. James's Gate Brewery. (A brewery founded in 1759 in Dublin, Ireland, by Arthur Guinness). The company is now a part of Diageo, a British company formed from the merger of Guinness and Grand Metropolitan in 1997.

Caethiwed (Kidnapped)

St. Patrick is credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland in the 5th century, he died on March 17, 461, and was buried in Downpatrick, Ireland, hence the photo of Downpatrick Head.

For many, St Patrick's Day commemorations will centre around pub crawls and street parades, but in one small village in west Wales, a more sedate celebration will be taking place.

Patrick, or Padrig in Welsh, was born around 387 AD and was known as Maewyn (Welsh for devoted friend) Succat (a Pagan term for warlike).

He is believed to have come from Bannavem Taburniae, which could be Banwen in Neath Port Talbot, where every year a service is held in his honour, although there are many legends surrounding St Patrick, his birthplace, and whether he was Welsh or not. Some French writers contend him to be a native of Armoric Gaul, Britain in France.

"Academics have looked at the idea that St Patrick was born in Wales. Although you can't really say he was a Welshman because it was Roman Britain," according to author and historian George Brinley Evans.

The following is from by Erik McLeary.
Extract from the Confessio of Patrick:
‘My name is Patrick. I am a sinner, a simple country person, and the least of all believers. I am looked down upon by many. My father was Calpornius. He was a deacon; his father was Potitus, a priest, who lived at Bannavem Taburniae. His, (Patrick’s grandfather), home was near there, and that is where I was taken prisoner. I was about sixteen at the time. At that time, I did not know the true God. I was taken into captivity in Ireland, along with thousands of others.‘
St Patrick does not refer to his mother in the full text, but her name is widely recorded as being 'Conchessa'.

The Annals of Ulster contain one of the earliest references to a Christian community in Dumbarton. In 314AD it records that three bishops accompanied by a deacon represented Alcyuyd at a conference in Arles, the former capital of Burgundy in south-east France.

The above reference further strengthens the argument that St. Patrick was born in or around Dumbarton, as it shows that the office of Deacon which his Father held had been extant in the area for almost a century.

The following is sourced from: and provides a fascinating account of his life.

Who was St Patrick?

St. Patrick Wasn't Irish

St. Patrick was born in Britain—not Ireland—to wealthy parents near the end of the fourth century. He is believed to have died on March 17, around 460 A.D.

Although his father was a Christian deacon, it has been suggested that he probably took on the role because of tax incentives and there is no evidence that Patrick came from a particularly religious family.

At the age of 16, Patrick was taken prisoner by a group of Irish raiders who were attacking his family’s estate. They transported him to Ireland where he spent six years in captivity. (There is some dispute over where this captivity took place. Although many believe he was taken to live in Mount Slemish in County Antrim, it is more likely that he was held in County Mayo near Killala.)

During this time, he worked as a shepherd, outdoors and away from people. Lonely and afraid, he turned to his religion for solace, becoming a devout Christian. (It is also believed that Patrick first began to dream of converting the Irish people to Christianity during his captivity.)

READ MORE: St Patrick: Kidnapped by Pirates and Enslaved at 16

St. Patrick’s Visions and Miracles

After more than six years as a prisoner, Patrick escaped. According to his writing, a voice—which he believed to be God’s—spoke to him in a dream, telling him it was time to leave Ireland.

To do so, Patrick walked nearly 200 miles from County Mayo, where it is believed he was held, to the Irish coast. After escaping to Britain, Patrick reported that he experienced a second revelation—an angel in a dream tells him to return to Ireland as a missionary. Soon after, Patrick began religious training, a course of study that lasted more than 15 years.

After his ordination as a priest, he was sent to Ireland with a dual mission: to minister to Christians already living in Ireland and to begin to convert the Irish. (Interestingly, this mission contradicts the widely held notion that Patrick introduced Christianity to Ireland.)

READ MORE: St. Patrick's Day Traditions

St. Patrick Incorporated Irish Culture Into Christian Lessons

Familiar with the Irish language and culture, Patrick chose to incorporate traditional ritual into his lessons of Christianity instead of attempting to eradicate native Irish beliefs. For instance, he used bonfires to celebrate Easter since the Irish were used to honoring their gods with fire. He also superimposed a sun, a powerful Irish symbol, onto the Christian cross to create what is now called a Celtic cross, so that veneration of the symbol would seem more natural to the Irish.

Although there were a small number of Christians on the island when Patrick arrived, most Irish practiced a nature-based pagan religion. The Irish culture centered around a rich tradition of oral legend and myth. When this is considered, it is no surprise that the story of Patrick’s life became exaggerated over the centuries—spinning exciting tales to remember history has always been a part of the Irish way of life.

READ MORE: How St. Patrick's Day Was Made in America

St. Patrick Was Never Canonized as a Saint

He may be known as the patron saint of Ireland, but Patrick was never actually canonized by the Catholic Church. This is simply due to the era he lived in. During the first millennium, there was no formal canonization process in the Catholic Church. After becoming a priest and helping to spread Christianity throughout Ireland, Patrick was likely proclaimed a saint by popular acclaim.

READ MORE: St. Patrick's Day Myths Debunked

I wonder how different a place Ireland might have been, had St Patrick not been hell-bent on eradicating Paganism?

The fact that Paganism was replaced with the enforced views of the catholic church (lowercase 'c's on purpose), probably had catastrophic results for the environment, given the close association of nature to the varied branches under the tree of Paganism.

What is Paganism?

Paganism is a broad term that encompasses a diverse array of spiritual and religious beliefs and practices. Generally, it refers to pre-Christian religions of Europe and their modern revivals, as well as contemporary polytheistic and nature-based religions.

Paganism can be traced back to ancient civilisations such as the Greeks, Romans, Celts, and Norse, who all had their own pantheons of gods and goddesses. In these religions, the gods and goddesses were often associated with natural phenomena, such as the sun, moon, and stars, and were thought to have a direct influence on the world and the lives of humans.

Contemporary Paganism encompasses a wide range of beliefs and practices, from Wicca to Asatru to Druidry and many others. These religions often focus on a reverence for nature and the natural world, as well as a belief in multiple deities or spirits. Some Pagans also incorporate magic and ritual into their practices.

It's important to note that not all Pagans have the same beliefs or practices, and there is no central authority or holy text that defines Paganism. Rather, it is a decentralised and diverse spiritual movement that celebrates individual expression and creativity.

An Environmental Catastrophe

Since 1962, Chicago city has been dying its river green, whilst it consistently maintains that the dye is completely safe for the environment, some activists are not so sure, seeing as though the EPA has never required a permit for food colouring discharge into the river.

Other groups feel that there are other concerns that may arise from turning the river green. "Dyeing the river perpetuates the notion that it can be treated any way anyone wants, rather than protected as a valuable natural resource."

One of the main issues worldwide is Plastic Waste: St. Patrick's Day celebrations often involve the use of plastic cups, beads, and other disposable items. These items contribute to the growing problem of plastic pollution in our oceans and landfills.

Increased Travel: St. Patrick's Day is a popular time for travel, which can have a significant impact on the environment. Air travel, in particular, is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions and climate change.

Alcohol Consumption: Alcohol consumption during St. Patrick's Day celebrations can lead to an increase in litter and other environmental damage. This can include everything from discarded bottles and cans to damage caused by drunken behaviour.

Overall, the environmental impact of St. Patrick's Day celebrations depends on the specific practices and behaviours of individuals and communities. By promoting sustainable practices and reducing waste, we can help to minimize the negative environmental impact of this holiday.

Given the state of the world's health today, St Patrick's Day could be turned into a celebration of nature and life, reaffirming all the positive aspects of Paganism, instead of being a stupid excuse to get drunk and waste the Earth's resources.
Think of all the festive, plastic decorations and single-use plastic plates, cups, and utensils. These items fly off the shelves before the big day. And just days later? All that plastic is filling up trash trucks… Or, clogging up city drainpipes because it was not disposed of properly.


  1. Don't use any single-use disposables of any kind, wherever possible.
  2. Use a flask or set aside time to drink your favourite coffee/tea etc in the establishment you get it from, maybe have a conversation with someone new and learn about them, their culture an so on.
  3. Don't buy into this plastic waste sheep-like culture, see beyond this and use your amazing powers and skills to create more renewable approaches to future celebrations.