“May your blessings outnumber
The shamrocks that grow,
And may trouble avoid you
Wherever you go.” – Irish Blessing
As St. Patrick’s Day approached this year there were a few conversations in the office about what he did and what the celebration is all about. Everyone knows about the parades, parties, and feasts that are held annually on March 17th. Everyone does not know why we are celebrating or why this is a religious holiday. I did a little bit of research for all of my followers and found some answers.
St. Patrick was born in Britain and when he was 16 he was captured by foreign people raiding his land. Later, he was sold into slavery in Ireland, where he lived a lonely life as a shepherd. This is where he became a devout Christian and God spoke to him in a dream. He escaped slavery and attended a monastery in France where he became a priest. After 12 years of training he went back to Ireland on a mission to convert the Gaelic Irish (mostly pagans), to Christianity. A long journey was ahead, which entailed the building of churches, schools, and monasteries around the country. This made the Celtic Druids upset and he was imprisoned several times. St. Patrick endured all of these setbacks and marched on for 20 years baptizing, preaching, and helping the Irish.
As legend goes he died on March 17th, AD 461. That day has been commemorated as St. Patrick’s Day ever since. The first parades and feasts that were held in New York City provided a way for the Irish to connect and realize the power in numbers. These parades and feasts live on today and will continue as long as there are Irishman around.
1. St. Patrick was not Irish.
2. The three-leafed shamrock was originally used to explain the Holy Trinity to the pagan Irish.
3. The first St. Patrick’s Day parade took place in New York in the 1760’s.
4. Guinness sales soar. On average 5.5 million pints are drank a day on St. Patrick’s Day it doubles to 11 million. That’s a lot of beer!