You may never have heard of him, but we owe him a deep debt of gratitude, for Luke Wadding is the man we can all thank, praise or blame for makingSt. Patrick's Day the day it is.
Luke Wadding, a Co. Waterford native born in October 1588, was a Franciscan priest ordained in 1613 and sent as a chaplain to Rome in 1618. Once there, he soon began raising funds for an Irish college for clerical students studying for the priesthood. He had accumulated great power in Rome and succeeded in his quest, opening the college in 1625. Wadding acted as head of the Irish College for decades after.