Saint Patrick

St. Patrick was a gentleman
Who through strategy and stealth
Drove all the snakes from Ireland.
Here's toasting to his health.
But not too many toastings
Lest you lose yourself and then
Forget the good St. Patrick
And see all those snakes again.


The facts of Patrick's life are largely obscured by legend. He belonged
to a Christian family of Roman citizenship. Captured when barely 16 by
Irish marauders and enslaved, he worked for six years as a herder on
the slopes of Slemish (near Ballymena, Co. Antrim) or of Croaghpatrick
or (most likely) of both. Then, in response to a voice, he escaped and embarked for Gaul.
Patrick spent some years wandering on the Continent and probably visited the Monastery of St. Martin at Marmoutier. He entered the monastery at Lérins and received the tonsure. He returned c.413 to his native Britain and lived for some years with relatives. During this time he had a vision that called him to return to Ireland to Christianize it. Accordingly, he returned to Europe (c.419) to perfect himself as a missionary. The next 12 years were spent in study at Auxerre. In 431, St. Palladius, first missionary bishop sent to Ireland, died; Patrick was consecrated (432) in his place by St. Germanus of Auxerre.
In the winter of 432 Patrick landed near Saul and remained until spring, when he went to Tara and gained his first major converts. He defied the pagan priests of Tara by kindling the Easter fire on Slane, a nearby hill. This challenge to paganism created at first indignation, and subsequently respect, in the court of the high king. Tara became Patrick's headquarters, and with a band of followers he successively converted Meath, Leitrim, Cavan, and W Ireland. Further details of his missions are only generally known.
In 444 or 445, with the approval of Pope St. Leo I, Patrick established his archiepiscopal see at Armagh. St. Patrick's mission was successful; Ireland was almost entirely Christian by the time of his death. He understood and wisely preserved the social structure of the country, converting the people tribe by tribe. Out of his hierarchy, organized by tribal units, developed the Celtic abbot-bishop system. At Patrick's instance, the traditional laws of Ireland were codified. Patrick modified them to harmonize with Christian practice, and he mitigated the harsher ones, particularly those that dealt with slaves and taxation of the poor. He introduced the Roman alphabet. In 457 he retired to Saul, where he died.
He was buried in Downpatrick, which was a great European shrine until its destruction by the English government in 1539. Also enshrined to him is Croaghpatrick. Patrick's connection with Saint Patrick's Purgatory in Lough Derg is undoubtedly only legendary. His personality is said to have been unusually winning. Feast: Mar. 17.
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St. Patrick's Day, March 17, is the feast day of Ireland's patron saint.
As with all things Irish there's the truth of St. Patrick and the embellished truth. We leave it to you to find the blarney.
According to historians, St. Patrick was born not in Ireland, but in Britain in 389 A.D. His given name is believed to have been Maewyn Succat. (Good thing he changed his name. St. Maewyn's Day just doesn't have the same ring.)
When he was 16, he was kidnapped by pirates and sold into slavery. For six years he was forced to work as a shepherd in Ireland. (Wonder if he got to wear one of those cool Irish-knit sweaters?). After a vision came to him directing him to a ship, Patrick escaped to France, where he became a priest.
When he was in his 60s -- the time when most saints are retiring to work on their beatification papers -- another divine vision brought St. Patrick back to Ireland as a missionary. He is credited with converting the Irish to Christianity using Ireland's national symbol, the three-leafed shamrock, to teach the concept of the Holy Trinity. (Good thing he wasn't working with a four-leaf clover.)
Legend tells us St. Patrick drove the snakes from Ireland, but biologists tell us there weren't any snakes in Ireland to drive out. He is also said to have exiled a dragon to a lake in Ireland until Judgment Day, though no one knows which lake the monster is in.
In Ireland, March 17, believed to be either the Patrick's birthday or his death day, is a time to celebrate the life of the beloved patron saint.
In the United States, St. Paddy's Day has little religious or historical significance. Established in Boston in 1737, it is essentially a time to put on a "Kiss Me I'm Irish" button, and parade drunken through the streets singing a mangled version of "Danny Boy" in celebration of one's real or imagined Irish ancestry.
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The Blarney Stone is a stone set in the wall of the Blarney Castle
tower in the Irish village of Blarney. Kissing the stone is supposed to
bring the kisser the gift of persuasive eloquence (blarney). The castle
was built in 1446 by Cormac Laidhiv McCarthy
The origins of the Blarney Stone's magical properties aren't clear,
but one legend says that an old woman cast a spell on the stone to
reward a king who had saved her from drowning. Kissing the stone
while under the spell gave the king the ability to speak sweetly and
convincingly.

Kissers have to lie on their back and bend backward,
holding iron bars for support.

 

Four Leaf Clover Poem
Author: Ella Higginson
I know a place where the sun is like gold
and the cherries bloom forth in the snow;
And down underneath is the loveliest place,
Where the four-leaf clovers grow.
One leaf is for FAITH,
And one is for HOPE,
And one is for LOVE you know;
And GOD put another in for LUCK:
If you search you will find where they grow.
But you must have FAITH,
And you must have HOPE,
You must LOVE and be strong and so...
If you work and you wait,
You will find the place
Where the FOUR-LEAF CLOVERS grow!

For each petal on the shamrock
This brings a wish your way-
Good health, good luck, and happiness
For today and every day.

In Irish tradition the Shamrock or Three Leaf Clover represents the Holy Trinity: one leaf for the Father, One for the Son and one for the Holy Spirit. When a Shamrock is found with the fourth leaf, it represents God's Grace.

"In Ireland, the plant most often referred to as shamrock is the white clover." The World Book Encyclopedia, Vol. 17, 1993.

 

The Leprechaun
Near a misty stream in Ireland,
in the hollow of a tree,
Live mystical, magical leprechauns
who are clever as can be.
With their pointed ears
and turned up toes
and little coats of green.
The leprechauns busily make their shoes
and try hard not to be seen.
Only those who really believe
have seen these little elves.
And if we are all believers,
We can surely see for ourselves.

May the leprechauns be near you,
To spread luck along your way.
And may all the Irish angels,
Smile upon you St. Patrick's Day.

There's a dear little plant that grows in our isle
'Twas Saint Patrick himself sure that set it
And the sun on his labor with pleasure did smile
And a tear from his eyes oft-times wet it
It grows through the bog, through the brake, through the mireland
And they call it the dear little Shamrock of Ireland

The name leprechaun is derived from the old Irish word luchorpan which means "little body."

The Leprechaun is an Irish fairy. He looks like a small, old man (about 2 feet tall), often dressed like a shoemaker, with a cocked hat and a leather apron. According to legend, leprechauns are aloof and unfriendly, live alone, and pass the time making shoes. They also possess a hidden pot of gold. Treasure hunters can often track down a leprechaun by the sound of his shoemaker's hammer. If caught, he can be forced (with the threat of bodily violence) to reveal the whereabouts of his treasure, but the captor must keep their eyes on him every second. If the captor's eyes leave the leprechaun (and he often tricks them into looking away), he vanishes and all hopes of finding the treasure are lost.



Claddagh Rings

It symbolizes love (heart)
friendship/faith (hands) and loyalty (crown).
Two hands Joined together in love and Crowned by the Glory of Christ.

Irish Blessings and Irish Prayers



May the sun shine all day long,
Everything go right and nothing wrong.
May those you love, bring love back to you,
And may all the wishes you wish, come true!



May God grant you always,
A sunbeam to warm you
A moonbeam to charm you.
A sheltering Angel
So nothing can harm you.
Laughter to cheer you,
Faithful friends near you.
And whenever you pray,
Heaven to hear you.

May the road rise to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face.
And rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the hollow of His hand.

May your troubles be less
And your blessings be more.
And nothing but happiness
Come through your door.



An Irishman's Philosophy
There are only two things to worry about.
Either you are well or you are sick.
If you are well,
Then there is nothing to worry about.
But if you are sick,
There are two things to worry about.
Either you will get well or you will die.
If you get well,
There is nothing to worry about.
If you die,
There are only two things to worry about.
Either you will go to heaven or hell.
If you go to heaven there is nothing to worry about.
But if you go to hell,
You'll be so damn busy shaking hands with friends
You won't have time to worry!

Irish potato candy

1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups confectioners' sugar
2 1/2 cups flaked coconut
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

In a medium bowl, beat the butter and cream cheese together until smooth. Add the vanilla and confectioners' sugar; beat until smooth. Using your hands if necessary, mix in the coconut. Roll into balls or potato shapes, and roll in the cinnamon. Place onto a cookie sheet and chill to set. If desired, roll potatoes in cinnamon again for darker color.

The Blarney Stone
There is a stone there, whoever kisses;
Oh! he never misses to grow eloquent,
'Tis he may clamber to a lady's chamber,
Or become a member of Parliament
click kiss the stone

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