Ireland's patron St. Patrick is a saint in name only and has never received the official title. 

While millions around the world celebrate St. Patrick's Day every March 17, the sad fact is that Patrick has never been canonized by the Catholic Church and is a saint in name only.

As writer Ken Concannon stated: "There was no formal canonization process in the Church during its first millennium. In the early years of the Church, the title saint was bestowed first upon martyrs, and then upon individuals recognized by tradition as being exceptionally holy during their lifetimes."

"Consequently, these Irish saints, including St. Patrick, were never actually formally canonized -- save one. The exception was Fergal, also known as St. Virgil of Salzburg, an 8th-century missionary scholar who was officially canonized in 1233 by Pope Gregory IX. Virgil is one of only four Irish saints to be canonized by Rome."

"There was no formal process for canonization in place when Patrick died. He was proclaimed a saint by popular acclaim, probably with the approval of a bishop. The official process for canonization did not come until about the 12th century."

Patrick was actually the grandson of a priest back when marriage for clerics was not frowned upon. His genius was bringing together the old pagan traditions and the new religion together in harmony in Ireland in the 5th century.

Patrick was the first major figure to reject slavery and for that alone, he deserves proper canonization.

Patrick renowned for his missionary work and dedication to spreading the message of Christianity throughout Ireland. While he is already recognized as a saint in the Catholic Church, some may wonder why he should be considered for sainthood. Here are several reasons why St. Patrick of Ireland should be a saint.

Firstly, St. Patrick was a tireless advocate for the Christian faith. Despite facing significant opposition from pagan Irish chieftains, St. Patrick never wavered in his commitment to spreading the gospel. He traveled throughout Ireland, preaching and converting thousands of people to Christianity, and establishing churches and monasteries throughout the country. His unwavering dedication to his mission is a testament to his deep faith and commitment to serving God.

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Secondly, St. Patrick is credited with many miracles and acts of divine intervention. According to legend, St. Patrick is said to have banished all the snakes from Ireland, using his staff to drive them into the sea. He is also credited with healing the sick, raising the dead, and performing other miraculous deeds. While some of these stories may be embellished or exaggerated, they serve as a testament to St. Patrick's faith and the power of his message.

Thirdly, St. Patrick's legacy has had a lasting impact on Irish culture and identity. Today, St. Patrick's Day is celebrated not just in Ireland, but around the world, as a symbol of Irish culture and heritage. St. Patrick's work in converting the Irish to Christianity also played a role in the development of the Irish language and literature. His influence can be seen in the rich tradition of Irish storytelling and the many legends and myths that have been passed down through the generations.

Finally, St. Patrick's life and teachings continue to inspire people of all ages and backgrounds. His message of love, forgiveness, and redemption is as relevant today as it was in his own time. St. Patrick's commitment to serving others, even in the face of adversity, is a powerful example for all of us to follow.

Did you know that Saint Patrick isn't officially a saint? Let us know in the comments!

* Originally published in 2014. Updated in 2022.