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History of St. Patrick
The person who was to become St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland,
was born in Wales about AD 385. His given name was Maewyn.
When he was 16, he was sold into slavery to Ireland where he was a shepherd
for 6 years. While in captivity he studied and turned to religion. He escaped
slavery and later returned to Ireland as a missionary, determined to convert
Ireland to Christianity. He used the shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity.
Patrick was quite successful at winning converts. And this fact upset the Celtic
Druids. Patrick was arrested several times, but escaped each time. He traveled
throughout Ireland, establishing monasteries across the country. He also set up
schools and churches which would aid him in his conversion of the Irish country
His mission in Ireland lasted for thirty years. After that time, Patrick retired
to County Down. He died on March 17 in 461 A.D. That day has been com-
memorated 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.
More History and Legends about Saint Patrick
True history and legend are intertwined when it comes to St. Patrick.
There are many arguments over whether he was born in Wales, England
or Scotland but at the time of his birth these places did not yet exist
and the country was called Briton and was under Roman rule and latin was
the language. His parents were also Roman so his given name was actually
Patricus. Eventually he was ordained as a deacon, then priest and finally
as a bishop. Pope Celestine then sent him back to Ireland to preach the
gospel. Evidently he was a great traveller, especially in Celtic countries,
as innumerable places in Brittany, Cornwall, Wales, Scotland and Ireland
are named after him. Here it is where actual history and legend become
difficult to seperate.
Patrick is most known the world over for having driven the snakes from
Ireland. Different tales tell of his standing upon a hill, using a wooden
staff to drive the serpents into the sea, banishing them forever from the
shores of Ireland. One legend says that one old serpent resisted, but the
saint overcame it by cunning. He is said to have made a box and invited
the reptile to enter. The snake insisted the box was too small and the
discussion became very heated. Finally the snake entered the box to prove
he was right, whereupon St. Patrick slammed the lid and cast the box
into the sea. While it is true there are no snakes in Ireland, chances
are that there never have been since the time the island was seperated
from the rest of the continent at the end of the ice age. As in many
old pagan religions serpent symbols were common, and possibly even
worshipped. Driving the snakes from Ireland was probably symbolic of
putting an end to that pagan practice.
While not the first to bring Christianity to Ireland, it was Patrick
who encountered the Druids at Tara and abolished their pagan rites.
He converted the warrior chiefs and princes, baptizing them and
thousands of their subjects in the Holy Wells which still bear that name.
According to tradition St. Patrick died on 17 March in A.D. 493 and
was buried in the same grave as St. Bridget and St. Columba, at
Downpatrick, County Down. The jawbone of St. Patrick was preserved
in a silver shrine and was often requested in times of childbirth,
epileptic fits and as a preservative against the evil eye. Another
legend says St. Patrick ended his days at Glastonbury and was buried
there. The Chapel of St. Patrick still exists as part of Galstonbury
Abbey. There is evidence of an Irish pilgrimage to his tomb during
the reign of the Saxon King Ine in A.D. 688, when a group of pilgrims
headed by St. Indractus were murdered.
The great anxiety displayed in the middle ages to possess the bodies,
or at least the relics of saints, accounts for a the many discrepant
traditions as to the burial places of St. Patrick and others.
The Life of St. Patrick is a more accurate, historical account of his
life, but it is a very long. For an account of St. Patrick's life
written by him you can go to Confession of St. Patrick which is
another long document.
This information is courtesy of : Ireland Now
May your thoughts be as
glad as the shamrocks
May your heart be as light as
May each day bring you bright
That stay with you all the
Wishing you God's blessings
and a happy
Saint Patrick's Day!
~~Erin Go Bragh! ~~
Ma name's Duncan Campbell fae the shire o Argyll
A've traivellt this country for mony's the mile
A've traivellt thro Irelan, Scotlan an aa
An the name A go under's bauld Erin-go-Bragh
Ae nicht in Auld Reekie A walked doun the street
Whan a saucy big polis A chanced for tae meet
He glowert in ma face an he gied me some jaw
Sayin whan cam ye owre, bauld Erin-go-Bragh?
Well, A am not a Pat tho in Irelan A've been
Nor am A a Paddy tho Irelan A've seen
But were A a Paddy, that's nothin at aa
For thair's mony's a bauld hero in Erin-go-Bragh
Well A know ye're a Pat by the cut o yer hair
Bit ye aa turn tae Scotsmen as sune as ye're here
Ye left yer ain countrie for brakin the law
An we're seizin aa stragglers fae Erin-go-Bragh
An were A a Pat an ye knew it wis true
Or wis A the devil, then whit's that tae you?
Were it no for the stick that ye haud in yer paw
A'd show ye a game played in Erin-go-Bragh
An a lump o blackthorn that A held in ma fist
Aroun his big bodie A made it tae twist
An the blude fae his napper A quickly did draw
An paid him stock-an-interest for Erin-go-Bragh
Bit the people cam roun like a flock o wild geese
Sayin catch that daft rascal he's killt the police
An for every freen A had A'm shair he had twa
It wis terrible hard times for Erin-go-Bragh
Bit A cam tae a wee boat that sails in the Forth
An A packed up ma gear an A steered for the North
Fareweill tae Auld Reekie, yer polis an aa
An the devil gang wi ye says Erin-go-Bragh
Sae come aa ye young people, whairever ye're from
A don't give a damn tae whit place ye belang
A come fae Argyll in the Heilans sae braw
Bit A ne'er took it ill bein caad Erin-go-Bragh
~~The Anglicized Version~~
I'll tell you a story of a row in the town,
When the green flag went up and the Crown rag came down,
'Twas the neatest and sweetest thing ever you saw,
And they played the best games played in Erin Go Bragh.
One of our comrades was down at Ring's end,
For the honor of Ireland to hold and defend,
He had no veteran soldiers but volunteers raw,
Playing sweet Mauser music for Erin Go Bragh.
Now here's to Pat Pearse and our comrades who died
Tom Clark, MacDonagh, MacDiarmada, McBryde,
And here's to James Connolly who gave one hurrah,
And placed the machine guns for Erin Go Bragh.
One brave English captain was ranting that day,
Saying, "Give me one hour and I'll blow you away,"
But a big Mauser bullet got stuck in his craw,
And he died of lead poisoning in Erin Go Bragh.
Old Ceannt and his comrades like lions at bay,
From the South Dublin Union poured death and dismay,
And what was their horror when the Englishmen saw
All the dead khaki soldiers in Erin Go Bragh.
Now here's to old Dublin, and here's her renown,
In the long generation her fame will go down,
And our children will tell how their forefathers saw,
The red blaze of freedom in Erin Go Braugh.
friends my greetings
Just dropping by to say
Hope your day is filled with
Friendly little fairies
Flying all around
Touch of the old blarney
Will make the day profound
Emerald green you're wearing
It looks so grand on you
Color of ole Ireland
Where grass is greener too
Hope that luck will follow
Wherever you may go
Dreams of grand tomorrows
Filled with bright rainbows
It's a grand day to be Irish
But then I'd like to say
No matter what your heritage
You're Irish for the day
We'll dance and be so merry
Toast with love good cheer
St. Patrick's Day a grand time
With friends we love all near.
About St. Patrick
Holy Saint Patrick, was said to have used the three-leafed shamrock to illustrate
the Holy Trinity. He explained in his sermons that the clover represented how the
Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit were all separate parts of a single entity.
His followers adopted the custom of wearing a shamrock on his feast day, March 17.
Wearing Of The Green:
Legends tell of the young Bishop Saint Patrick, who plucked a simple, humble
shamrock from the ground somewhere on the lush green hillsides of County Armagh
back in the year 432 AD. He used it to explain the Mystery of the Blessed Trinity
to the Ancient High Kings of Ireland, making the Shamrock an important symbol
as Ireland's National Emblem. It is also said that Saint Patrick drove the snakes
from Ireland into the sea. St. Patrick is named the patron Saint for bringing
Christianity to Ireland, and introducing the Irish people to Baptism.
That is why March 17th is now celebrated as the "Feast Day Of Saint Patrick",
when Irish people from all over the world traditionally wear the shamrock on
their chests, hence the phrase "The Wearing Of The Green". Saint Patrick's death
on March 17, in about 461, has been observed in America since colonial days.
IRISH BLESSINGS FOR YOU
May you always have...
Walls for the wind
A roof for the rain
Tea beside the fire
Laughter to cheer you
Those you love near you
And all your heart might