St Patrick is recognised globally as the patron saint of Ireland, but what many people don’t know is that St Patrick is also the patron saint of engineers. All over the world, every year on March 17, towns and cities celebrate St Patrick’s Day.
Although many are familiar with the tale of St Patrick driving the snakes from Ireland, it is also claimed that he was instrumental in the initial construction of Irish clay churches in the 5th century A.D.
St Patrick has also been credited with teaching the Irish to build arches of lime mortar instead of dry masonry. It was these achievements that led to him becoming the patron saint of engineers.
Students of the College of Engineering at the University of Missouri (Mizzou) claim that, in 1903, they were the first to discover that St Patrick was an engineer.
For over 100 years, Mizzou engineering students have celebrated St Patrick's Day as a holiday set aside for engineers. This celebration has now developed into a nine-day-long annual Engineers Week event which includes several century old traditions: Missouri’s engineer’s song, the St Patrick’s ball and the discovery of the Blarney stone.
On the Friday of Engineers Week at the University of Missouri, St Patrick himself makes an appearance on campus in order to perform the ceremony which makes qualified engineering students knights of St Patrick. These students have made notable contributions to the Engineering Club. As a result of this celebration, the shamrock and St Patrick have become icons of the Mizzou's College of Engineering.