Saint Patrick’s relationship with Ireland is unique, whether you look at it from a religious or secular viewpoint. No other saint has been celebrated so widely that it increases the fame of an entire country in the way that St. Patrick has. Today, as St. Patrick Day parades and festivals spread to Japan and other unexpected locales, it seems as though the popularity of this Irish symbol is limitless.
But as his holiday is celebrated in ways from devout to degenerate (drinking is clearly a key part of the modern St. Paddy's Day feast), the true story of St. Patrick is part fact and part popular legend. Here’s a look at who the actual Patrick of Ireland was.