St. Patrick Orthodox Saint History and Name Day Information

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People often believe that celebrating the life of Saint Patrick is only reserved for those from Ireland. However, that is a misconception. The truth is that Orthodox Christians also celebrate his feast day on March 17th of each year, the same day as the famed “Saint Patrick’s Day.”

Despite what people may believe, this isn’t a day to celebrate being Irish. March 17th is, however, a day to celebrate Saint Patrick’s life. Those who are named after him may celebrate their name days on this day, as well. Here’s more information about this saint and the role he played on the church:

About Saint Patrick

Saint Patrick, also known as Patrick of Ireland or Patrick the Enlightener of Ireland, is known for the role he played in helping the Irish people convert to Christianity in the early days of the church. He grew up in Britain but was taken away from his home when he was captured by some Irish raiders. He was raised in the Christian faith because his father was a deacon and his grandfather was a priest.

During his captivity, however, he really turned to his faith to give him strength. He sought out the Lord and the knowledge that He was there with him strengthened Patrick. Later in his life during Holy Confession, he reflected on his period of captivity in Ireland. He said:

After I came to Ireland – every day I had to tend sheep, and many times a day I prayed – the love of God and His fear came to me more and more, and my faith was strengthened. And my spirit was so moved that in a single day I would say as many as a hundred prayers, and almost as many at night, and this even when I was staying in the woods and on the mountain; and I would rise for prayer before daylight, through snow, through frost, through rain, and I felt no harm.

Patrick was considered a slave and his captivity lasted sixty years. Finally, God empowered him to escape and he lived the rest of his days as a monastic in France.

Hymns of Saint Patrick

Saint Patrick’s feast day is held on March 17th. People throughout the world have taken Saint Patrick’s Day and turns it into a celebration of the Irish, but this day is more than that in the eyes of the church. March 17th is his feast day and there are hymns that go along with it. Here are the hymns:

Troparion (Tone 3)

Holy Bishop Patrick,
Faithful shepherd of Christ’s royal flock,
You filled Ireland with the radiance of the Gospel:
The mighty strength of the Trinity!
Now that you stand before the Savior,
Pray that He may preserve us in faith and love!

Kontakion (Tone 4)

From slavery you escaped to freedom in Christ’s service:
He sent you to deliver Ireland from the devil’s bondage.
You planted the Word of the Gospel in pagan hearts.
In your journeys and hardships you rivaled the Apostle Paul!
Having received the reward for your labors in heaven,
Never cease to pray for the flock you have gathered on earth,
Holy bishop Patrick!

As you can see, Saint Patrick is important to the Orthodox Christian Church. Despite popular belief, he isn’t just an Irish saint. The role he played to spread Christianity in Ireland is all regarded and accepted by the Orthodox Church. His feast day is on March 17th, the day that people throughout the world recognize and celebrate as “Saint Patrick’s Day”. Check the Name Day page for more information about other Orthodox Christian name days.


Patrick the Enlightener of Ireland

OrthodoxWiki – Patrick of Ireland – Also Image Source

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This post was written by Greek Boston