http://www.saintpatricksdayparade.com/nyc/newyorkcity.htmSt. Patrick was 16 years old when he was taken prisoner by Irish pirates. The Roman Legions left Roman Britain, leaving the pirates to pillage and burn everything in sight. He escaped after 6 years; with Ireland burning still etched in his memory, he went to France and became a priest, then a bishop. He then returned to Ireland. According to "the One Year Book of Saints" by Reverand Clifford Stevens, he "brought the light of the Catholic faith to the Irish, converted kings, founded churches, and set up his headquarters at Armagh." His life was threatened many times...bishops resented him because of his lack of education, friends betrayed him, and other clergy in his home country criticized him.
Apparently he was well into his 100's when he died. He died on 17 March, but the year is controversial, since his writings did not include a date. Last Friday, someone asked about what Catholics do if St. Patrick's Day falls on a Friday during Lent. What about the corned beef on that day? Well, from what I can tell, the Pope has to give a special dispensation for meat to be eaten on that day. I would say that it is hard to come by, so, my guess is that the corned beef has to be given up on that day.
One bit of trivia: St. Patrick is not a canonized saint, rather, he is a saint in name only. The reason: during the 1st millennium , there wasn't a formal process for canonization. The title "Saint" was given to martyrs, then to individuals recognized as being exceptionally holy during their lives. (Iris Centrall)