Today is St. Patrick’s Day, a holiday celebrated around the world. Much of what is shared about St. Patrick is based on folklore and exaggerated storytelling, according to historians.

Getting to the truth takes a little digging. St. Patrick was born to a wealthy family in modern-day Great Britain near the end of the fourth century. There is no evidence that he came from a particularly religious family, and says it was likely Patrick’s father became a Christian deacon because of tax incentives and not religious devotion.