Thursday, March 17, 2005

Happy St. Patty's Day!

Okay... are you having a Happy St. Patrick's Day? Wearing green, eating green, doing all things green? Unfortunately my luck isn't going so well because I just lost my really long post that explained what St. Patty's Day is, and I had given you some links to recipes, songs, etc. I'm not going to write it all over again (it took me almost an hour to write). I'm sorry! But I will give you some.

I was wondering how many people actually know why today is a holiday? Who knows who St. Patrick was? This day, like many other Christian holidays, has lost its full meaning and has been 'Americanized', so to speak. So, who was St. Patrick?

St. Patrick was born in Kilpatrick, Scotland in 387. At age 16, he was carried off to Ireland as a slave and worked as a shephard until he excaped six years later and went back to Britain. While a slave in Ireland, though, he lived his life devoted to God, praying daily. When he returned to Britain he decided he wanted to live his life in a spiritual path, and therefore he entered the monastery of St. Martins in Tours where he was guided for many years under St. Germain, where he lived as a missionary. At one point in his life, Patrick was commissioned to be Pope, but someone else was chosen, instead. Patrick then moved back to Ireland to convert the Irish people to Christianity, and it was there where he set up many churches and schools. Patrick was arrested several times, but escaped each time. His mission in Ireland lasted for thirty years. After that time, Patrick retired to County Down, and he died on March 17 in AD 461. That day has been commemorated as St. Patrick's Day ever since.

Much Irish folklore surrounds St. Patrick's Day. Not much of it is actually substantiated. Some of this lore includes the belief that Patrick raised people from the dead. He also is said to have given a sermon from a hilltop that drove all the snakes from Ireland. Though originally a Catholic holy day, St. Patrick's Day has evolved into more of a secular holiday. One traditional symbol of the day is the shamrock. And this stems from a more bona fide Irish tale that tells how Patrick used the three-leafed shamrock to explain the Trinity. He used it in his sermons to represent how the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit could all exist as separate elements of the same entity. His followers adopted the custom of wearing a shamrock on his feast day. The holiday, March 17th, is marked by parades in cities across the United States. The largest of these, held since 1762, is in New York City, and draws more than one million spectators each year. In Ireland, it is a religious holiday similar to Christmas and Easter.

For more info on St. Patrick and St. Patrick's Day, go to
The Catholic Encyclopedia, and also The History Channel. Also, you should Google St. Patricks Cathedral to get some more pictures... it's a beautiful Cathedral. I was there almost 4 years ago. And while you're at it... look at other pictures of Ireland, Dublin and all. I would really like to go back someday... a beautiful country it is!

For more fun, go here, maybe try to find some songs, drinking, etc., recipes, whatever you can.... these Irish people know what they're doing! ;) They know how to throw a party!

So... here's to Leprachauns, Shamrocks, pot o' golds, parades, green beer, Guinness, corned beef (yum!), the color green (yay!), whatever I am forgetting, and most of all... Here's to St. Patrick!! Thank you for all you have done! Cheers!

"Hail, Glorious Saint Patrick, dear saint of our isle
On us, thy poor children,
bestow a sweet smileAnd now thou art high in the mansions above
On Erin's green valleys look down in thy love."

Prayer of St. Patrick
I take for my surities:
The power of God to guide me,
The might of God to uphold me,
The eye of God to watch over me,
The ear of God to hear me,
The word of God to give me speech,
The hand of God to protect me,
The way of God to go before me,
The shield of God to shelter me....
Christ be with me,
Christ before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ within me,
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ at my right,
Christ at my left,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks to me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.

-St. Patrick


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