St Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland and Northern Ireland. He was born in Wales around AD 385, and was said to have been captured by pirates before escaping their tyranny and training as a missionary.
The most famous legend of Saint Patrick is one of him ‘driving the snakes out of Ireland’. He achieved this it is said with a holy stick that was serpentine in appearance and scared them away. This story, of which there are many versions, is perhaps a metaphor for driving out the Pagan religion in Ireland.
The Shamrock, an important symbol of Ireland is said to have been taken up by St Patrick in his teachings. He is said to have explained that the three different leaves of the plant are like the trinity of the father, the son and the holy spirit, all separate parts of the same entity. Shamrocks also symbolize good luck.