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A little background on the real St. Patrick

Hello, my name is Padraig Mac Mahoona.

Well, that’s what I’m called by the Gaelic speakers of Ireland. I’m grateful it eventually became Pat McMahon because that’s so much easier to remember for a broadcast audience.

This Sunday, March 17, my patron saint, St. Patrick, will once again be honored around the world, that is if you consider it an honor to memorialize a holy historical figure by getting fall-down drunk and throwing up green stuff.

His real life was so much more exciting than that. For example, though he was born in England around 385, he was actually Italian by birth, at least as much of Italy as there was before 400. His father was an important and influential Roman. Strange, isn’t it, that corned beef lasagna never really caught on. At 16, St. Patrick was actually captured by pirates, which may explain in some of his early portraits his remarkable resemblance to Johnny Depp. He escaped his captors and eventually wound up in Ireland where he converted all the druids to Christianity, which certainly blew the Stonehenge-Dublin idea.

Sunday, the whole world becomes Irish and to the world this Irishman says, “caed mille fáilte,” or “a hundred thousand welcomes.”

I’m Pat McMahon.