Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Kiss Me, I'm NOT Irish (but I Play One in Real Life)

Erin Go Braghsexy Irish lassThe person who was to become known as St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, was born in Wales about AD 385 and given the name Maewyn.

Maewyn considered himself a pagan as did most of his countrymen at that time before Christianity had spread to the Celtic peoples. At the age of sixteen he was sold into slavery by a group of Irish marauders that raided his village. During his enslavement he converted to Christianity and after six years he escaped and fled to Gaul.

Maewyn returned to Ireland intent on converting the native pagans to Christianity which he considered his sacred mission. Within a few years Maewyn adopted the Christian name Patrick and was appointed as the second bishop of Ireland.

Patrick was so successful at converting pagans that he upset the Druids who had him arrested several times but he always managed to escape. For thirty years he traveled throughout Ireland, establishing monasteries, setting up schools and churches to assist in his conversion of Ireland to Christianity. Patrick died on March 17, 461 and that day has been commemorated at Saint Patrick's Day ever since.

Saint Patrick lore includes stories that Patrick raised people from the dead and drove all snakes from Ireland. No snakes were ever native to Ireland so some scholars think this is a metaphor for the conversion of the pagans to Christianity. Saint Patrick's Day was originally a Catholic holy day and feast day but gained wide acceptance as a public celebratory holiday outside of the church.

One traditional icon of the day is the shamrock. Patrick used the three-leafed shamrock to explain the Trinity in his sermons to represent how the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit could all exist as separate elements of the same entity.

Saint Patrick's Day was first celebrated in the United States in 1737 in Boston.


Ole Blue The Heretic said...

Yes well I prefer naked female witch parties. ;-)

Bonez said...

Which reminds me that I am attending a Spring Equinox celebration Thursday night. Love the naked dancing in the moonlight to the drumming and chanting. Very soothing and relaxing for the spirit.