This Sunday, March 17, is St Patrick’s Day – an Irish holiday celebrating St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. According to the Irish there are only two types of people – those who are Irish, and those who wish they were Irish!!
So where does our friend St. Patrick originate from? St. Patrick was born Maewyn Succat of an Italian father and a Scottish mother, sometime around 385 A.D., in Scotland. (Doesn’t sound very Irish so far……?)
At the age of 16 he was kidnapped by pirates and sold into slavery for six years in Ireland. After seeing a vision of a ship, St. Patrick planned an escape from Ireland to France, where he became a priest and later a bishop. He adopted the name of Patricus and remained in France for a number of years. As time went by, St. Patrick continued to be inspired by thoughts of bringing Christianity to Ireland. At the age of 60, upon his return, an Irish legend began. It was said that he drove away all the snakes and toads from the land, while standing amid a field of shamrocks. Whether fact or fiction, the shamrock, a three-leaf plant, signifies the Holy Trinity to the Catholics and is still symbolic of the Irish and St. Patrick.
St Patrick died in 464 A.D. and it is not known if March 17th was his birth date or the date of his death. However, St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated worldwide by parades, processions, and the “wearin’ of the green.” St. Patrick’s Day is a tradition for people of Irish descent and the expatriate Irish in other countries, as well as by many others who choose to be Irish “for a day.” We honor St. Patrick by expressing our devotion and faith and recognizing the heritage of the patron saint of Ireland.
Emerald green is, appropriately, Pantone’s colour of the year for 2013 – will you be joining in the “wearin’ of the green” on Sunday?