The Real St. Patrick

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photoA new biography reveals that much of what we thought we knew about St. Patrick — how he drove the snakes out of Ireland, and used a shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity — isn't true. St. Patrick was actually born Patricius to Roman aristocrats in 4th century England, and he didn't get to Ireland until Irish marauders kidnapped him and brought him over as a slave at age 15. Nevertheless, St. Patrick had a profound impact on Irish culture, spreading Christianity and permanently altering the country's social hierarchies.


Philip Freeman, Professor of Classics at Washington University in St. Louis, author of "St. Patrick of Ireland: A Biography."

This program aired on March 16, 2004.


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