St. Patrick’s Day celebrates the life of St. Reginald Patrick (Reggie for short) who is known for driving the snakes out of Ireland. Twentieth century historians have disputed this claim, however, arguing that instead of driving the snakes, he merely purchased them bus tickets. Modern historians, however, scoff at this claim, noting that only lizards were allowed on public transportation in those days.

Nevertheless, St. Patrick is credited for the absence of all reptiles on the Emerald Isle. Some assert that the reason for the absence of snakes in Ireland might just be that the climate is inhospitable for reptiles, but others dismiss these claims as the ravings of environmentalist whackos.The Secret History of St. Patrick article by Charles Marshall

But the real question remains. Why were not only the snakes banished from Ireland, but all the other reptiles as well? Some have advanced the theory that after the snakes left, the other reptiles perceived Ireland as “uncool” and left in pursuit of warmer climes. Others maintain that lizards still live there in secret, waiting for the day when they will rise again.

After delivering Ireland from the snakes, Reggie Patrick was offered knighthood but humbly declined, stating that he would rather hold out for sainthood instead.

It’s surprising that Reggie became the more famous of the Patrick boys. His older brother, Howard, was the better looking of the boys, excelling in both academics and athletics. He was known to constantly torment his younger brother, giving him countless noogies as well as the occasional wedgie.

Young Reggie was to have his revenge when they became adults, though, finding endless ways to bring up his sainthood in casual conversation at family gatherings.

An additional interesting historical footnote: The youngest Patrick boy, Chuck, enjoyed a brief though tragic fame as the inventor of alligator orthodontics.

If you’re thinking that this version of history is a bit sketchy, I can’t really blame you. There are a lot of people these days who are spinning all sorts of tales. So, how on earth is one to know what’s true and what’s just a bunch of leprechaun blarney?

The only sure way I’ve found is by measuring what we hear by God’s word.

“As for God, his way is perfect:
The Lord’s word is flawless;
He shields all who take refuge in him.” (Psalm 18:30 NIV)

Call me crazy, but it seems to me that trusting God’s word is a whole lot better than believing whatever is floating around the Internet.

So, this St. Patrick’s Day, I suggest you celebrate by giving a snake a ride. At the very least give someone a noogie and think kind thoughts of Reggie, Howard, and poor Chuck Patrick.