Babies Born on St. Patrick’s Day Receive Green Onesies to Celebrate Mercy’s Irish Heritage

March 14, 2024

ST. LOUIS – Babies born at Mercy hospitals on March 17 will receive a special keepsake, a green onesie with a shamrock to celebrate both their arrival on St. Patrick’s Day and Mercy’s Irish roots.

While many mark the holiday by donning green clothes, decorating with leprechauns and drinking green beer, the 1,500-year-old holiday is a nod to Saint Patrick, Ireland’s most famous patron saint. Patrick is credited with using the three-leaf shamrock as a symbol of the Holy Trinity − Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. The clover has also become associated with faith, hope and love.  

Mercy doctor's coat Babies born at Mercy hospitals on St. Patrick's Day will receive a keepsake onesie.

“Like many holidays, St. Patrick’s Day has become one that people celebrate even if they have no Irish or religious connection,” said Mary Beth Bulte, Mercy vice president of mission and strategic initiatives. “With its ties to joy and festivity, we thought it was a fun way to celebrate new life and our Irish heritage, as well as the unique history of the Sisters of Mercy, who began caring for women and children in Dublin, Ireland, almost 200 years ago. Our Sisters were known for their devotion and their joy, and they were one of the first religious orders to insist on a life that wasn’t cloistered so they could be out in the community serving those in need. As Mercy, we have much to celebrate.”  

Catherine McAuley, Mercy’s foundress, opened the first House of Mercy in Dublin in 1827. In 1843, the Sisters of Mercy came to the United States and in 1871 traveled to St. Louis, where they would eventually establish hospitals throughout the Midwest. 

Anyone planning to welcome a little leprechaun, click here to download Mercy’s Pregnancy guides.

Saint Patrick’s Day Facts:

  • Not Originally Green: The holiday was originally associated with the color blue in medieval times but later shifted to green, possibly influenced by Ireland’s nickname as the “Emerald Isle,” the country’s lush green landscapes, the green shamrock and the green in the Irish flag.
  • St. Patrick Wasn’t Irish: Although he was the patron saint of Ireland, he was born in Britain.
  • Global Celebration: Despite its Irish origin, the day is celebrated in more countries than any other national festival and on every continent.
  • Lenten Reprieve: The holiday falls during Lent, a 40-day period of spiritual reflection between Ash Wednesday and Easter, but the restrictions on eating and drinking alcohol are lifted for the day.
  • Largest St. Patrick’s Day Parade: New York City’s parade attracts millions of participants and spectators each year.
  • Irish Ancestry: Irish roots are the second-most-commonly reported in the U.S. (after German) with some 35 million Americans claiming Irish heritage.
  • Patty or Paddy? Either is correct, but St. Paddy’s Day is more popular and came from shortening the Irish spelling of Patrick, which is Pádraig.