Patrick was born in the 4th century into a wealthy Romano-British family. Little is known about his early life but at 16 he was captured by Irish raiders as a slave and held somewhere near Mayo. He escaped and returned to Brittany where he trained to be a priest with the intention of returning to Ireland to convert the polytheist people to Christianity. He returned to Ireland as a bishop to Christianise the people. It is said that he used the shamrock to explain the Christian doctrine of the Trinity to the Irish people. After thirty years of evangelism he died on the 17th March 461and tradition has it that he was buried at Downpatrick. The day is celebrated by the attendance at church services, wearing green and the easing of Lenten restrictions permitting the drinking of traditional Guinness . This saint's day is believed to be the most celebrated around the world." It is my intention to persuade the landlord of our local hostelry to reduce the price of the 'black stuff' for one night!