Needing an accurate bio of St. Patrick the man, we went looking for a someone else who could give it to us: Father Jonathan Morris.
"He was a slave," Morris says. "At the age of 16, he was captured by pirates, brought to Ireland, was there for many years."
But to our surprise and delight, a couple of revelers we picked up right on the street knew the story as well as Father Morris:
"He was kidnapped and taken to Ireland."
"Because he was imprisoned by a Druid priest he learned the Irish language."
Morris elaborates: "When he finally got freed, he eventually became a cleric and he went back to the very land where he was a slave in order to be a missionary of the gospel."
Converting the island to Christianity earned St. Patrick his sainthood, not the one bit of legend most people associate with him: That he got rid of snakes from Ireland, casting them out with his staff.
"Eh, maybe," Morris says. "I'm not sure."
And now, all the other things St. Patrick isn't, wasn't, and didn't do:
"He is the patron saint of drinkers."
"This is here to make us look like jerks. I get it. It's alright. He's a saint? We are jerks."
"To be honest, we really don't know much about it. But it's a really good festival."
"Well, I suppose it's a lot of drinking."
"I'm Jewish, you know. The hat's just a disguise."