ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — There are many traditions that encapsulate Saint Patrick’s Day, everything from marching in a parade to eating a corned beef sandwich. However, not everyone knows the origin behind the man who started it all.
Saint Patrick, sometimes called the Apostle of Ireland, wasn’t actually born in the country. He was born and raised in what’s currently known as Britain in the late 4th Century. He was then forcibly brought to Ireland as a slave. Later in life, he went back to Ireland as a missionary and many credit him for bringing Christianity to Ireland.
Here in Albany, NEWS10 spoke with two Irish Priests who span the generations to find out more about local traditions surrounding the Saint. “We owe our faith to [Saint Patrick] and to God, of course,” said Rev. Francis O’Conner.
Father Daniel Quinn and Father O’Connor help put on the St. Patrick’s Day Parade mass at the Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church on March 12. “Help people appreciate where their people came from, what they suffered and what they rejoiced in, mostly rejoiced in,” O’Conner said.
The 9 a.m. service traditionally has brought together everyone from politicians to members of countless Irish organizations that run the Albany parade. Father Quinn said he hopes those celebrating and marching will remember Saint Patrick who left behind some of the earliest Irish documents in history. One prayer sticks out to him.
“Without him, the culture of Ireland wouldn’t have grown in the way that it did,” Quinn said. “[The prayer] goes through all of creation, all of nature, thanking God for what he’s given us. I think it’s certainly a state of thankfulness.”