St. Patrick's Day - A Celebration of Christianity and How Its Meaning Has Morphed
Saint Patrick - not Irish?
Born (probably) Maewyn Succat in the latter half of the 4th century, in either Scotland or Roman England. Name changed to Patricius, his Romanticized name, and would be later known as Patrick.
Son of a Roman-British army officer, Maewyn was kidnapped by a band of pirates in south Wales along with many other young boys and sold into slavery in Ireland. During the six years of his imprisonment a change came upon the boy, and it was during this time that God came to the young man in a dream instructing him on how to escape captivity.
He did as instructed by God successfully escaping into Britain and then France. While in France, Patrick joined a monastery studying under the Bishop of Auxere for 12 years. Another dream came to him after becoming a bishop, with a message that he must return to Ireland. Once there he was to teach the people about God. This dream is documented in his spiritual autobiography.
After receiving blessings from the Pope Maewyn set out for Ireland, where he began converting the Gaelic Irish, then Pagans, to Christianity. Confident, in his message from the Lord, Patrick traveled far and wide successfully converting many people, an action that angered the Celtic Druids. Patrick was arrested 20 times, and 20 times he managed to escape, continued spreading God's word, building monasteries, schools and churches throughout Ireland.
Legends Attributed to St. Patrick
The Shamrock - was used in his teachings to simulate the Holy Trinity referring to The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit, using the three-leafed plant as an example. This is why the Shamrock is associated with St. Patrick.
Saint Patrick supposedly put the curse of God on the venomous snakes in Ireland, driving them all into the sea.
Upon his death, March 17, AD 461, the day was commemorated as St. Patrick's Day. Originally know as a Catholic Holy Day, it has evolved into a more "Be Irish Day" and those Irish and of Irish decent have integrated the day as part of their heritage and culture.
Shamrocks, Leprechauns, Blarney Stones and Pots O' Gold
What' da ya mean the original color was blue?
The original color scheme of St. Paddy's Day was blue not green. Green became the mainstay color due to the implementation of the Shamrock and Leprechaun symbols.
May You Live as Long as You Want, and Never Want as Long as You Live.
The Leprechaun, derived from the Irish word Leipreacha'n, meaning "a pigmy, a sprite or leprechaun", is Ireland's National Fairy. A funny looking elf, with a red mane, pointy ears, usually male, a mischievous cobbler of shoes who whiles away the day hidin' his pot o' gold.
May the Lord Keep You in His Hand and Never Close His Fist too Tight.
This holiday is celebrated gregariously all over the world, by the Irish and non Irish, with parades, green beer, green clothes and mischievous pranks. Folks in Chicago even go so far as to dye the Chicago River green each year.
You Gotta Love Irish Humor
Paddy was driving down the street in a sweat because he had an important meeting and couldn't find a parking place. Looking up to heaven he said, "Lord take pity on me. If you find me a parking place I will go to Mass every Sunday for the rest of me life, and give up me Irish Whiskey!"
Miraculously, a parking place appeared.
Paddy looked up again and said, "never mind, I found one."
An Irish Priest is Driving Down to New York . .
and gets stopped for speeding in Connecticut. The state trooper smells alcohol on the priest's breath and then sees an empty wine bottle on the floor of the car.
He says, "Sir, have you been drinking?" "Just water, " says the priest. The trooper says, "Then why do I smell wine?"
The priest looks at the bottle and says, "Good Lord! He's done it again!"
May The Grass Grow Long on the Road to Hell for Want of Use
This holiday has a reputation for the over-indulgence of many a green beer. I want all my readers to have a good time this upcoming St. Paddy's Day, but try to keep in the back of your mind that it's actually a Christian holiday. Let's not use it as an excuse to imbibe too much of the devils brew.
Irish Toasts and Blessings:
- May the love and protection St. Patrick can give, be yours in abundance as long as you live.
- In heaven there is no beer, that is why we drink it here.
- May your troubles be as few and as far apart as my Grandmothers teeth
- Here's to a long life and a merry one. A quick death and an easy one. A pretty girl and an honest one. A cold pint - and another one
I Leave You with My Favorite
May the saddest day of your future be no worse than the happiest day of your past.
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