St. Patrick: The Construction of a Legend

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— Scott Allison and George Goethals

13 thoughts on “St. Patrick: The Construction of a Legend

  1. I think that what happened with St. Patrick probably happens with a lot of heroes – when a person fits a certain hero profile or archetype initially, people will exaggerate that person’s abilities and actions, molding them into the ideal hero. This is a particularly useful tactic when a group of people needs a hero to inspire them, as the Irish needed the inspiration of St. Patrick’s story as their model for humanitarian behavior.

  2. I found this post very interesting and like others commenting here I didn’t know much about the life of St Patrick. Thank you for the insightful information.

  3. “At the time of Saint Patrick, the Irish culture had a rich tradition of oral legend and myth.” They still do. The Irish word for it is “Blarney.” 😀 I can say that because I’m Irish, in part….

    It’s curious that the one thing that St. Patrick is most remembered for is the one thing that could not have happened. But that’s the Irish for you. In any case, the fact that the returned to help, at least in his mind, the people who enslaved him certainly qualifies him for the Heroes Blog.

    One thing I’m sure of– he must have been a hero to Indiana Jones. 😀

  4. It is finally nice to know where St. Patrick’s Day comes from and who St. Patrick really was. I assumed he was a legendary character and was surprised to learn that there was some fact mixed in with fiction.

    It is also nice to know that everybody drinks and celebrates a guy who was actually a humanitarian and exhibited many heroic traits. Anyone who goes from slave to saint is a hero in my book!

  5. it must have been very difficult for St. Patrick to return to the country that had previously enslaved him. the fact that he did this shows his conviction to his cause and the desire he has to help the people who were in need.

  6. I have read a few accounts of St. Patrick, both realistic and magical. I found him interesting and inspiring because he desired to be seen as a regular person by the Irish. It was the cross of religion and pagan rituals and beliefs that lead to the many stories of him possessing super strength abilities, etc. In most cases, St. Patrick credits God. I think for a hero of such influence on a entire people he was very humble.

  7. I never knew why St. Patrick’s day was celebrated or the story behind it until I read this blog. Thanks for the clarification because I wasn’t aware that St. Patrick was not even Irish. I had an Irish roommate last year and her birthday was on March 17th so that was just another reason to celebrate.

  8. St. Patrick’s Day is one of my favorite holidays, but not because St. Patrick is my hero. I am Irish and therefore I always thought St. Patrick’s Day was a fun way to celebrate my heritage, but after reading this blog I came to find St. Patrick wasn’t even Irish!

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