HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY!
We don our green in honor of St. Patrick, the patron saint of the Emerald Isle. As a girl, my mother and I always got new green dresses for the occasion. At her restaurant, as many items as possible were dyed green, including the draft beer. At school, anyone not wearing green was pinched. I find it fascinating that green is also the color of nature and fairies, two aspects prominent in Irish culture. Do you celebrate the merry, festive St. Patrick’s Day, and if so, how?
- The Irish patron saint, St. Patrick, was said to be born in Wales in 385 A.D.
- His original Welsh name was Maewyn Succat.
- Not an early practitioner, Maewyn converted to Christianity around age 16, after he was kidnapped and transported to Ireland as a slave.
- His primary job during captivity was to care for the animals.
- After his escape, he eventually studied under the renowned St. Germain at a monastery in Gaul.
- His passion to convert pagans came about after a vision called him into service.
- The Church stationed him in Ireland to win converts, and he remained on his mission for thirty years.
- He served as the first Bishop of Armagh.
- He built churches, schools, and monasteries in Ireland to promote learning and the Christian faith.
- Two of his written works survive in Latin: Declaration (also called Confession) and Letter to the Soldiers of Coroticus.
- He used the three-leaf shamrock to explain the Trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit to his followers.
- Legend has it that he banished all snakes from Ireland.
- He was known to raise the dead.
- After striking his walking stick made of ash to the ground, the stick grew into a tree.
- These famous and soothing words are attributed to him: “Christ beside me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ within me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me.”
- He lived 300 years before my favorite fictitious Irish sleuth, Sister Fidelma of the mysteries by Peter Tremayne. Have you read those incredible books?
- St. Patrick died on March 17 in 471 A.D.
Mo sheacht mbeannacht ort!
(An old Irish blessing meaning “My seven blessings on you.”)
Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic in Romance