Top Ten Reasons St. Patrick Was A Bit Of A Dick
Ah, St. Patrick. Patron saint of our emerald land. The pinnacle of Irishness, the man who enlightened the grubby old Celts, The Iron Man of his times, right?
WRONG! In the true spirit of Irishness (that is, begrudgery), here’s Ramp.ie’s nine Top Ten Reasons Saint Patrick was a Bit of a Dick:
9. He has the Americans calling it St. Patty’s Day
Jaysus, it even hurt my national pride to type that out. Look, my American friends, for the last time: it’s ‘Saint Patrick’s Day’. You can get by referring to it as ‘Paddy’s Day’ or ‘St. Paddy’s Day’ at a pinch. But if you call it ‘Patty’s Day’ or any variation thereof, you forfeit all of your Irish roots, real or imagined, and you hang your head in SHAME. Only a troll like St. Patrick would go and die and be unable to correct horrible mispronunciations of his own name.
Ideally of course you refer to it in the traditional manner as ‘ARGHLBRGH OI! THRREE PINTSA GUINNINNESH ANNA ANNA BAG O’ BAC’N BITES DERE PLEASE’.
8. He wasn’t even Irish
It’s well-documented that aul Pat came over here from Roman Britain. Nobody’s quite sure where, exactly. Patrick himself says it was Banna Venta Berniae, but nobody knows where that is. Some scholars reckon it was in Cumbria. Regardless, the fact remains that he wasn’t Irish. Typical, isn’t it? Our national hero was never ours to begin with. It’s like when the Brits claimed Katie Taylor at the Olympics, only worse. He was captured as a slave and brought here. Man, did THAT ever come back to bite us in the ass.
7. He inspired some bloody ridiculous traditions:
Have you ever climbed Croagh Patrick? Allegedly The Pa did, and fasted for 40 days at the top. Now, on the last Sunday of every July, you get thousands of pilgrims lining up to catch a glimpse of a shoddy little chapel at the top. And trying desperately not to fall to their deaths. Croagh Patrick isn’t terribly high (764m above sea level, trivia fans!), but its sides are steep and covered in loose shale. You have to be pretty damn careful on your way up not to slip, and keep slipping. And it’s even worse on the way down. That’d be dangerous enough on your own or with some hiking buddies, but with 15,000 buggers crawling all over the place at once? Half of them over 60, on their knees or even barefoot because lol religion? It’s amazing there aren’t deaths every year, although there’s plenty of serious injury and hypothermia. What kind of dick would inspire a tradition like this?
6. He made everyone go nuts over a weed
And not the good kind. Shamrocks are crappy stringy little things nobody in their right mind would stick to their clothing had it not been for this yahoo using it to explain the Holy Trinity, presumably because he had no faith in the Irish to understand fairly simple metaphysical concepts (despite the Irish having some absolutely badass beliefs, see below). Look at a shamrock – it’s pathetic, all droopy and small, it might as well be watercress. Why couldn’t he have chosen a better metaphor for the Trinity? Like one of those carnivorous plants you get in bogland? Or three wolves howling at the moon? Or a bitching snake? Oh, right, which brings us to…
5. He chased the snakes out of Ireland
Snakes are awesome. They look slimy, but they’re bone dry. They’re awesome cunning patient predators. Some of them spit venom. Some of them crush the life out of their prey. They’re fascinating creatures, and have tonnes of street cred as any gang will tell you (Tunnel Snakes rule!). And that jerk ran them out of the country (allegedly). It’s a pity he couldn’t have gotten rid of the slimy self-aggrandising snakes that raise taxes, cut disability services and have generally give fewer fucks than a dead nun about the plight of Irish people since, well, longer than there’s been a country called Ireland. Of course, there never were any snakes in Ireland to begin with, which makes St. Patrick a lying scumbag.
4. He killed off a kickass religion
You all remember RE class. Christianity is, let’s face it, pretty dull when you’re a kid. It’s all fluffy sheep and Baby Jesus and awkward-yet-hilarious nativities. Loads of boring non-threatening prayers to learn by rote or the priest would kill you.
This replaced what had come before, mostly Celtic polytheism with a touch of Greek and Roman influence. That shit was WAY more interesting, a complicated mix of paganism and mythological figures. You had the Fomorians, creatures that predated the gods, kind of like Greek Titans. You had the Tuatha dé Danann, including such delightful characters as Manannan and The Morrigan who might have been a goddess (or three), or a ‘phantom queen’, or something else entirely. It was blood, sex and death, like some kind of Lovecraftian version of Norse mythology on crack. What child wouldn’t have wanted to read about that stuff instead of how lies make Baby Jesus cry?
3. Half of it wasn’t even him
Does the name Palladius ring a bell? No? It’s not surprising, as St. Paddy ripped him off so badly hardly anyone remembers him. And who was he? Oh, only the First Bishop in Ireland, charged directly by Pope Celestine I to head over there and convert the poor heathens. If the records are accurate, poor ol Palladius didn’t have the easiest time of it. The Book of Armagh says that ‘the fierce and cruel men’ (that’s us!) didn’t take kindly to this new Christian mumbo jumbo. He kept mostly to Leinster, whereas our St. Paddy started off much later in Ulster and later Connaught. Palladius softened us up for St. Paddy, I reckon, so he only had to do the typical half-arsed job to get us the rest of the way to Catholicism.
2. He had dodgy finances
Ok, we can’t explicitly prove that financial impropriety was the reason, but he WAS put on trial for something. We know this because of one of his own letters where he talks about it. He doesn’t say what the charges are, but mostly he goes on about how he never accepted gifts from wealthy people, or charged for baptisms, or for ordaining a priest, and in fact he did loads of good things like pay for gifts to kings and judges.
Sound familiar? Read in the cold light of today’s cynical politics, this screams financial corruption so loudly it’d wake the dead. How’d he pay for all these gifts when he never accepted money off anyone, eh? With digouts from friends? From betting on the horses? Sure thing, Paddy. It didn’t work for Bertie and it won’t work for you. What a jerk.
1. He’s not a real Saint
Shocking, but true: Pat was never formally canonised by a pope. Back in those days it was way more local; when someone people considered very holy died, the local branch of the Church pretty much said ‘Ah, go on so, you can worship him.’ I’ve had priests tell my parents that I was a saint in English class or whatever, but where’s MY national holiday? Yeah, I thought so. When the Church brought in proper rules on who could be a saint, they mysteriously never bothered to retro anyone who was already too popular to say no to. Packie here… IS A FRAUD!