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.
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
“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
“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.