Whether the “luck of the Irish” is myth or fact, it is a fact that Wednesday, March 17th is St. Patrick’s Day, and folks of Ireland observe it as both a national and religious holiday. Others worldwide celebrate the day regardless of their heritage. St. Patrick’s Day Parades and other activities started this past weekend, and green beer has started flowing! For those of us who know little about St. Patrick, here’s a wee bit of information:
Fifth century Ireland was a lost world, both to archaeologists and historians. What little is known about the life and work of Patrick comes from his own writings in Latin, now accepted as authentic. Written in his old age, he said he was a native of Roman Britain, the son of a deacon who lived in the village of Bannaven Taberniae. He was captured by Irish raiders at the age of sixteen, and sold into bondage to watch over swine and sheep on the slopes of Slemish mountain for a chief named Milchu. During his captivity, his thoughts turned to God, and he spent many hours in solitary prayer. Following his escape, he spent 15 years studying religion, and then returned to Ireland to spread Christianity throughout the country. He died on March 17, 493, A.D., the date later chosen to honor him. Many of the accounts of the history of St. Patrick vary, but his legacy for the success of the Christian movement in Ireland will always live on.
Being descendants of great Celtic and Viking fighters and invaders, the Irish had great fighting skills; because they survived many battles, they became known as “lucky people”. There is other folklore that comes from the Green Isle:
- Catching leprechauns, because if you do, you will find their pot of gold.
- Looking for four-leaf clovers. Haven’t most of us done that?
- Wearing green on St. Patrick’s Day, for good luck, and in order not to get pinched!
- Kissing the Blarney Stone, which is located in a wall in the tower of Blarney castle. (It’s a hard feat to accomplish, however, due to its location.)
We hope you have enjoyed some of the background of this special day, and want to share this Irish wish with you:
“May the leprechauns be near you,
To spread luck along your way.
And may Irish angels
Smile upon you St. Patrick’s Day.”
It’s our hope that Irish angels smile on all of you every day, and bring you good fortune! Whether we are at work or play, we mustn’t depend on luck, however. Sometimes a little luck goes a long way, but other times, we simply run out of it. Keep yourself safe always. If you want to carry a lucky charm in your pocket, that’s great, but the key to staying safe is paying attention and being careful. Happy St. Patrick’s Day! (Don’t forget to wear green!)