Monday, March 3, 2008

St. Patrick's Day

I’ve been out of the loop for almost a month. Health issues and I’m only 47. Yikes I’m getting old!

Anyway, I realized St. Patrick’s Day will be here soon; March 17th for anyone who doesn’t know, and did some research regarding the holiday. I’m not Irish but nether was the man who became the patron saint of Ireland.

Historians believe St. Patrick’s birth name was Maewyn Succat; his Romanicized name was Patricius and later it became the familiar Patrick everyone knows.

Patrick was kidnapped in South Wales by pirates when he was about 16 years of age and sold into slavery in Ireland. Mostly imprisoned for 6 years Patrick escaped from slavery and went to Britain then to France where he joined a monastery and studied under St. Germain, the bishop of Auxerre. After about 12 years of training he became a bishop and dreamed the Irish were calling him back to Ireland to tell them about God.

With the blessings of the Pope Patrick set out for Ireland; converting the Gaelic Irish, who were then mostly Pagans, by incorporating traditional ritual into his lessons of Christianity instead of attempting to eradicate native Irish beliefs. For instance, he used the three-leafed Shamrock, and ancient symbol for the triple goddess Brigit, to explain the concept of the Trinity; the combination of Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. Also, he used bonfires to celebrate Easter because the Irish were used to honoring their gods with fire. He also superimposed a sun, a powerful Irish symbol, onto the Christian cross to create what is now called a Celtic cross, so that reverence of the symbol would seem more natural to the Irish.

St. Patrick died on March 17, 461 AD. That day has been commemorated as St. Patrick’s Day ever since. Although originally a Catholic holy day, St. Patrick’s Day has evolved into a more secular holiday.

In closing I leave you with some of my favorite blessings and sayings of Ireland:

“May you be inHeaven a half hour
before theDevil knows you're dead!”

“May your blessings outnumber
The shamrocks that grow,
And may trouble avoid you Wherever you go.”

“May the best day of your past
Be the worst day of your future.”

Don't forget, Mother's Day is coming up. Photo blankets make great gifts, as does the Mother and Child jewelry found at