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The Story of St. Pat

It was March 1st, 412 A.D. when the Rain of Snakes occurred in Ireland. The peasants were preparing their fields for spring planting that morning when they heard the distant roar of thunder out over the sea. Thinking it was an early spring rain, they paid little attention and continued their work. However, as the clouds rolled in over the land they noticed the clouds were a peculiar green color. Soon the bright sun was blotted out. The thunder roared and the great streaks of lightning flashed the same green color. Day was turned into night, and millions of writhing snakes rained down from the sky covering the entire Emerald Isle.

Snakes were over-running the fields. There were snakes in the barns and in the homes, towns, and cities. Disaster was everywhere. The king hastily called his army together and ordered them to rid the country of snakes. The soldiers did their best, but it seemed that for every snake killed, two would take its place.

The king was preparing to have the Isle evacuated when he heard of a young Irishman by the name of Patrick O’Reilly, the inventor of a machine that he had used to rid his own farm of snakes. O’Reilly was hastily summoned to the king’s court and was asked to explain the wonders of his new machine. The frantic king said, “Everything I have is at your command if you can just drive the snakes out of Ireland.” O’Reilly thought for a moment and replied, “Give me five hundred stalwart Irishmen of my own choosing and I will rid the land of these green monsters.” The king then commanded, “Go quickly and start your work.”

O’Reilly and his followers diligently set about their task, and were so successful that by March 17th not a single snake could be found in Ireland. The king was so pleased that he summoned O’Reilly and his men to his court and made Patrick O’Reilly a saint. The queen dubbed each of St. Patrick’s men Knight of St. Pat by touching them on the left shoulder.

St. Patrick performed the greatest engineering feat in the history of the world, and for this reason was adopted as the patron saint to all engineers. The custom has been handed down through the ages, and each year at the various universities and colleges throughout the country, an engineering Queen is elected to rule over the Knights of St. Patrick.


College of Engineering

History of the College of Engineering, by J.H. Felgar (1940)
Sooner Shamrock, Magazine 1941-1978
Evolve, Magazine 2001-
Blog, 2009-