Today is St. Patrick's Day, one of my favorite holidays. It is the day to wear green, eat wonderful food and have fun! I always make boiled corned beef and cabbage with carrots and potatoes and baking soda bread. Yummy!
Little is known of Patrick's early life, though it is known that he was born in Roman Britain in the fifth century, into a wealthy Romano-British family. His father and grandfather were deacons in the Church. At the age of sixteen, he was kidnapped by Irish raiders and taken captive to Ireland as a slave. It is believed he was held somewhere on the west coast of Ireland, possibly Mayo, but the exact location is unknown. According to his Confession, he was told by God in a dream to flee from captivity to the coast, where he would board a ship and return to Britain. Upon returning, he quickly joined the Church in Auxerre in Gaul and studied to be a priest.
In 432, he again says that he was called back to Ireland, though as a bishop, to save the Irish, and indeed he was successful at this, focusing on converting royalty and aristocracy as well as the poor. Irish folklore tells that one of his teaching methods included using the shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity (the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit) to the Irish people. After nearly thirty years of teaching and spreading God's Word he died on 17 March, 461 AD, and was buried at Downpatrick, so tradition says. Although there were other more successful missions to Ireland from Rome, Patrick endured as the principal champion of Irish Christianity and is held in esteem in the Irish Church.
Wearing of green
According to legend, Saint Patrick used the shamrock, a three-leaved plant, to explain the Holy Trinity to the pre-Christian Irish people.Originally the colour associated with Saint Patrick was blue. However, over the years the colour green and its association with Saint Patrick's day grew. Green ribbons and shamrocks were worn in celebration of St Patrick's Day as early as the 17th century. He is said to have used the shamrock, a three-leaved plant, to explain the Holy Trinity to the pre-Christian Irish, and the wearing and display of shamrocks and shamrock-inspired designs have become a ubiquitous feature of the day. Then in the 1798 rebellion in hopes of making a political statement Irish soldiers wore full green uniforms on 17 March in hopes of catching attention with their unusual fashion gimmick. The phrase "the wearing of the green", meaning to wear a shamrock on one's clothing, derives from the song of the same name.
History in Ireland
It is believed that Saint Patrick's Day has been celebrated in Ireland since before the 1600s. It was also believed to have served as a one-day break during Lent, the forty day period of fasting. This would involve drinking alcohol; something which became a tradition. Saint Patrick's feast day was finally placed on the universal liturgical calendar in the Catholic Church due to the influence of theWaterford-born Franciscan scholar Luke Wadding in the early 1600s. Saint Patrick's Day thus became a holy day of obligation for Roman Catholics in Ireland.
St. Patrick is also believed to have chased all the snakes out of Ireland too. However, there never werr snakes on the isle. It's probably meant as symbolism for chasing the Pagans away when he brought Christianity to the Irish.
Erin go Bragh!
May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of his hand.
May God be with you and bless you:
May you see your children's children.
May you be poor in misfortune,
Rich in blessings.
May you know nothing but happiness
From this day forward.
May the road rise up to meet you
May the wind be always at your back
May the warm rays of sun fall upon your home
And may the hand of a friend always be near.
May green be the grass you walk on,
May blue be the skies above you,
May pure be the joys that surround you,
May true be the hearts that love you.