Happy St Patrick's Day - Was He Welsh? Parton Saint Possibly Born in Wales
St. Patrick's Day is celebrated worldwide on 17th March.
But was the patron saint of Ireland actually a Welshman?
I spent one year of my childhood in Dublin due to my dad's work and in school we were taught that St. Patrick was actually born in Wales. His birthplace is believed to be Bannavem Taburniae, which could be Banwen in Neath Port Talbot.
Image source: http://www.catholicsaintmedals.com/about-st-patrick.aspx
When he was a teenager, he was kidnapped by pirates and sold into slavery in Ireland. Whilst in captivity, it is believed that he worked as a shepherd, which is where he found God. He escaped by boarding a ship home when he was twenty years old.
Back in Wales, he is said to have trained as a priest at Church of Llantwit Major, one of Britains oldest learning centres (founded in 500 AD)
After being ordained as a priest, he returned to Ireland as a missionary. He played a major role in converting the country to Christianity and became their first bishop.
So was he a Welshman? Well, it is hard to say. There is no firm evidence of his birthplace, and people also argue that Wales was part of Roman Britain at the time. However, every year there is a celebration in Banwen, who have proudly claimed the saint as their own.