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St. Patricks Day

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St. Patricks Day
03/10/02 at 12:22:26

The day celebrated all thru America with green beer and shamrocks.

My son asked me what it was- I did a little research and thought I would share it:

     St. Patrick's Day, the traditional Irish holiday celebrated yearly and worldwide (wherever there are Irish) on
March 17th.

Origins of Saint Patrick's Day

Saint Patrick's Day has come to be associated with everything Irish: anything green and gold, shamrocks and luck.

Most importantly, to those who celebrate its intended meaning, St. Patrick's Day is a traditional day for spiritual renewal and offering prayers for missionaries worldwide.

The Irish are descendants of the ancient Celts,but the Vikings, Normans and English contributed to the ethnic nature of the people. Centuries of English rule largely eliminated the use of the ancient Gaelic, or Irish, language. Most Irish are either Catholics or Protestants(Anglicans, members of the Church of England).                                          
Who was Saint Patrick?                                                            
Important historical figures are frequently shadowed by the myths and legends attributed to them over the course of centuries, and St. Patrick is no exception. He is believed to have been born in the late fourth century,
According to Encyclopedia Britannica, St. Patrick was the patron saint and national apostle of Ireland who is credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland.

Most of what is known about him comes from his two works, the Confessio, a spiritual autobiography, and his Epistola, a denunciation of British mistreatment of Irish Christians.

Saint Patrick described himself as a "most humble-minded man, pouring forth a continuous paean of thanks to his Maker for having chosen him as the instrument whereby multitudes who had worshipped idols and unclean things had become the people of God."

Saint Patrick is most known for driving the snakes from Ireland. While it is true there are no snakes in Ireland, there probably never have been -- the island was separated from the rest of the continent at the end of the Ice
Age. As in many old pagan religions, serpent symbols were common and often 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.

There are several accounts of St. Patrick's death. One says that St. Patrick died at Saul, Downpatrick, Ireland, on March 17, 460 A.D. His jawbone 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 account says that St. Patrick ended his days at Glastonbury, England and was buried there. The Chapel of St. Patrick still exists as part of
Glastonbury Abbey.

The Legend of the Shamrock

According to Encyclopedia Britannica, a shamrock is "any of several similar-appearing trifoliate plants (plants whose leaves are divided into three leaflets). " According to Irish legend, St. Patrick chose the shamrock as a
symbol of the church's Holy Trinity because of its three leaflets bound by a common stalk.

The Legend of the Blarney Stone

Just northwest of the Irish village of Cork is the village of Blarney. The name Blarney is derived from the Irish  An blarna, "the plain." Blarney is home to the 90-foot-tall Blarney Castle. The castle visited today is the third
one built at the site, and was erected in 1446.

Built on a rock, above several caves, the tower originally had three stories. On the top story, just below the battlements on the parapet, is the world famous Blarney Stone. While its origins are unknown, the Blarney
Stone is said to give the gift of eloquence (beautiful speaking ability) to all who kiss it. Today, "Blarney" means "the ability to influence and coax with fair words and soft speech without offending."

One local legend claims that an old woman, saved from drowning by a king of Munster, rewarded him with a spell that if he would kiss a stone on the castle's top, he would gain a speech that would win all to him.

So, why is it celebrated on March 17th? One theory is that that is the day that St. Patrick died. Since the holiday began in Ireland, it is believed that as the Irish immigrated around the world, they took with them their history
and celebrations.

The biggest observance of all is, of course, in Ireland. With the exception of restaurants and pubs, almost all businesses close on March 17th.

Being a religious holiday as well, many Irish attend mass, where March 17th is the traditional day for offering prayers for missionaries worldwide before the serious celebrating begins.

Re: St. Patricks Day
03/10/02 at 14:06:48

oh the memories... you have to pin a lump of shamrock onto your clothes on St. Patrick's Day and go to Mass. Loads of songs about St. Patrick - "Hail Glorious St.Patrick dear Saint of our Isle, on us thy dear children bestow a sweet smile" - blah blah blah..

It's a pretty secular celebration these days. Hardly anyone celebrates it for its religious connotations, rather it's an excuse to have a day off work/school, go to the pub, get drunk, stagger out, watch the parade, stagger back into the pub and stay there till you're thrown out.
There's green beer, green milkshakes in McDonalds, people paint shamrocks on their faces and wear green and that's about all there is to it.

I remember I read that there were thousands of prophets sent by Allah to each and every place on earth. I was wondering if St. Patrick was ours.. but I don't think a prophet of Allah would spread the Trinity.

St. Patrick was a Brit. He came over to Ireland and worked as a shephard as far as I know. I can' t really remember all the details.

And yes, through English tyranny we practically lost our language and culture..

I always thought he was buried on the top of the mountain "Croke Patrick" in County Mayo. At least that's why thousands of pilgrims climb this mountain barefoot every year.. to go to his burial place and pray and get rewards.

Anyway Kathy, very interesting. As a Muslim I definitely wouldn't celebrate it though.

eleanor  :-*

almost forgot: if you ever go to Ireland DON'T kiss the Blarney Stone. The locals think it's a great joke to go up there after a Saturday night's drinking and urinate all over it  :P
03/10/02 at 14:08:06

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