Saturday, March 6, 2010

Happy St. Patty's Day....

So I always give a freebie on St. Patricks Day.   I thought of a potato but nah........didn't think that would go over well with fellow Irishmen.  I thought of a snake but that's not very pleasing to the eye.  Then I thought of a rainbow......ahh.....yes, the Christian sign that life will not end....and what's at the end of the rainbow.....according to Irish tradition......a pot of gold.  Well the Irish are known for tale spinning and we continually search for that pot of brite shining gold.     Here are some little known facts about St. Patrick.

St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, is one of Christianity's most widely known figures. But for all his celebrity, his life remains somewhat of a mystery. Many of the stories traditionally associated with St. Patrick, including the famous account of his banishing all the snakes from Ireland, are false, the products of hundreds of years of exaggerated storytelling.

It is known that St. Patrick was born in Britain to wealthy parents near the end of the fourth century. He is believed to have died on March 17, around 460 A.D. Although his father was a Christian deacon, it has been suggested that he probably took on the role because of tax incentives and there is no evidence that Patrick came from a particularly religious family. At the age of sixteen, Patrick was taken prisoner by a group of Irish raiders who were attacking his family's estate. They transported him to Ireland where he spent six years in captivity. (There is some dispute over where this captivity took place. Although many believe he was taken to live in Mount Slemish in County Antrim, it is more likely that he was held in County Mayo near Killala.) During this time, he worked as a shepherd, outdoors and away from people. Lonely and afraid, he turned to his religion for solace, becoming a devout Christian. (It is also believed that Patrick first began to dream of converting the Irish people to Christianity during his captivity.)

After more than six years as a prisoner, Patrick escaped. According to his writing, a voice-which he believed to be God's-spoke to him in a dream, telling him it was time to leave Ireland.
 After his ordination as a priest, he was sent to Ireland with a dual mission-to minister to Christians already living in Ireland and to begin to convert the Irish. (Interestingly, this mission contradicts the widely held notion that Patrick introduced Christianity to Ireland.)

Familiar with the Irish language and culture, Patrick chose to incorporate traditional ritual into his lessons of Christianity instead of attempting to eradicate native Irish beliefs. For instance, he used bonfires to celebrate Easter since the Irish were used to honoring their gods with fire. He also superimposed a sun, a powerful Irish symbol, onto the Christian cross to create what is now called a Celtic cross, so that veneration of the symbol would seem more natural to the Irish. (Although there were a small number of Christians on the island when Patrick arrived, most Irish practiced a nature-based religion. The Irish culture centered around a rich tradition of oral legend and myth. When this is considered, it is no surprise that the story of Patrick's life became exaggerated over the centuries-spinning exciting tales to remember history has always been a part of the Irish way of life.

St. Patrick was a cool dude and we celebrate this holiday everyday with green beer; parades; and lots of partying and story telling.  We eat corned beef, cabbage and potatoes with Irish soda bread.  On this one day in March even the non Irish turn out and celebrate with Irishmen everywhere.

My dad was Irish and always invited to NY to march in the St. Patricks Day Parade.  In fact he was born on St. Patricks Day.  Ireland has a cow named after the Galloways.....isn't that cool.   He was also invited to go to Ireland and kiss the blarney stone.  Did you know you had to stand on your head to kiss this stone.....not ways!  I am part Irish and born on the 16th.  Gotta be the 17th somewhere in the world...right?  So for all you Irish and Irish wannabe's celebrate with caution and stitch out my rainbow and wear with pride.

To make this rainbow stitch on vilene or any water soluable stabilizer.  This will fit in a 4x4 hoop.  Rinse the stabilizer leaving just a bit to keep it somewhat stiff.  When dry add a pin to the back with glue.  Wear with pride on the 17th of March.....and may the wind be forever at your back.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks so much for reading and commenting on blog messages. Your comments are always appreciated.