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Rich Fields

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MUNICH, GERMANY - MARCH 16: An actor, performing the Irish national Saint St. Patrick, arrives at Odeonsplatz Square during the St.-Patrick's Parade on March 16, 2008 in Munich, Germany. With about 10.000 onlookers this year the Munich St.-Patrick's Parade is considered as one of the largest outside Ireland. (Photo by Johannes Simon/Getty Images)

Saturday March 17th. will mark the celebration of St. Patrick’s Day. But who was St. Patrick? And why does nearly everyone on the planet celebrate his feast day?

Saint Patrick was a fifth-century Christian missionary and bishop in Ireland. Known as the “Apostle of Ireland”, he is the primary patron saint of Ireland.

According to the Confessio of Patrick, when he was about 16, he was captured by Irish pirates from his home in Britain and taken as a slave to Ireland, looking after animals; he lived there for six years before escaping and returning to his family. After becoming a cleric, he returned to northern and western Ireland. In later life, he served as a bishop, but little is known about the places where he worked. By the seventh century, he had already come to be revered as the patron saint of Ireland.

Saint Patrick’s Day is observed on 17 March, the supposed date of his death. It is celebrated inside and outside Ireland as a religious and cultural holiday. In the dioceses of Ireland, it is both a solemnity and a holy day of obligation; it is also a celebration of Ireland itself.

Rich Fields is a veteran radio broadcaster who is best known for having been the Announcer on the Price is Right. He is also an Emmy Award winning Meteorologist .