Patrick isn’t Ireland’s only patron saint.

It’s quite well known that St. Patrick is patron saint of Ireland – but he’s not the only one. In fact, Ireland has three patron saints. The others are St Brigid and St Colmcille (Columba). Many Irish people will know St. Brigid from the famous Brigid’s Cross, while Colmcille is also the patron saint of Derry.

Many already know the legend that Saint Patrick banished the snakes from Ireland, but he wasn’t alone there either. Saint Colmcille is famous for banishing snakes (and frogs) from the island of Iona, where he established a monastery.

In reality, there is no historical record of snakes in Ireland. The “snakes” in the famous legend were probably meant as a metaphor instead.

Patrick was originally depicted wearing blue.

St. Patrick’s day often conjures up images of a sea of green (or in Chicago’s case, a river of green). People in the thousands in cities across the world don green hats and decorative wear in celebration of the saint. Many artistic depictions of St. Patrick also feature him in his best green garb.

However, the earliest depictions of him show him wearing blue. In fact, the official colour of the Order of St. Patrick is a sky blue colour named St. Patrick’s Blue. The order was founded by George III in 1783, over a thousand years after St. Patrick’s life.

Credits: envato elements; Author: darrenvorel; Chicago celebrates St. Patricks Day

Today, the colour green is closely associated with Ireland. In reality, the traditional colour of Ireland is azure blue. For example, the Irish coat of arms features a golden harp on a blue background.

Historians don’t exactly know where St. Patrick came from, or when he lived.

There is a lot of debate by historians about Patrick’s life, but most historians agree he lived and died in the 5th century AD. Some of the confusion arises from the fact that there was another Saint in Ireland at the same time called Palladius, who was the first bishop of Ireland.

There is also confusion surrounding where Patrick was born. Some historians believe he was born near Carlisle, while others say Ravenglass, both of which are in Cumbria in northern England. On the other hand, there are other theories that St. Patrick was born in South Wales or Kilpatrick in Scotland.

Two of St. Patrick’s writings survive today.

There are two pieces of writing by the famous Saint that exist today, Confessio and Epistola. It features biographical information about Patrick and opens with the line: “My name is Patrick. I am a sinner, a simple country person.”

In fact, many of the stories and tales of the Saint that exist today come from much later writings and manuscripts about the Saint’s life, not from the man himself.

Patrick was never officially canonised.

You read that right. St. Patrick is technically not a saint. Saints are typically canonised into sainthood shortly after they die. In the case of Saint Patrick, this never happened. In spite of that, many churches around the world still consider him to be a Saint.