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Will the Real St. Patrick Please Stand Up?

BU profs (and Bostonians) on Ireland’s patron saint


On this side of the pond, there’s certainly a “traditional” way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day — the rites typically involve a parade, green clothing, and copious amounts of ale-induced merrymaking. The Guinness corporation is even leading a charge to make it a national holiday in the United States, as it is in Ireland.

As the city of Boston — host of the nation’s first St. Patrick’s Day Parade, in 1737 — decks itself in green for another year’s celebration, BU Today hit the streets to find out just how much people know about Ireland’s patron saint. Sally Sommers Smith, a College of General Studies associate professor of natural science, and Tony Barrand, a professor in the University Professors Program and a College of Arts and Sciences anthropology professor, also shed some light on St. Patrick, from his arrival in Ireland as a slave to his status as a celebrated missionary who converted the Emerald Isle to Christianity.

Edward A. Brown can be reached at ebrown@bu.edu.


One Comment on Will the Real St. Patrick Please Stand Up?

  • Anonymous on 03.17.2008 at 1:19 pm

    I enjoyed the quick historical background behind St. Patrick and the song too. The Korean man was pretty silly.

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