Your St. Patrick's Day IQ: Answer 2

Why is St. Patrick considered the patron saint of Ireland?

Answer: He was a missionary who introduced Christianity to Ireland.

Surprised by this answer? While legends credit Saint Patrick with driving the snakes out of Ireland, these “snakes” were not of the beady-eyed, belly-crawling variety. Instead, the snakes in question were a symbol of Paganism, and it was the Pagans that were either converted to Christianity or “driven out” of Ireland. Snakes of the reptile kind were free to stay. 

Another commonly held, but completely false, belief is that St. Patrick was a lifelong resident of Ireland. According to scholars, he was probably born in Wales (possibly even Scotland or France). As a young man, he was abducted and brought to Ireland to work as a slave. After six years as a shepherd, he fled Ireland and went to France, where he became a monk. Some 20 years later, theologians say, an angel appeared to St. Patrick in a dream, urging him to return to Ireland as a missionary. Which he did, but not before trekking to Rome, where he was made a bishop.