Thursday, March 17, 2011

St. Patty!

Every year when St. Patrick's day comes around, I always gripe about how all these people celebrating it by boisterous, drunken merrymaking don't even know what the holiday is even about. But this year, I realized that I actually don't really know what the holiday is about. And I'm Irish! Shame on me.

I mean obviously it is honoring St. Patrick...but who was he? Well, I shall tell you.

St. Patrick's REAL name was Maewyn Succat. He was born in Rome around 385 AD. When he was a young lad, he was kidnapped by the Irish and sold into slavery. Eventually, he escaped and fled to France Apparently he had some kind of vision/dream and determined that he was meant to go convert all the Irish pagans to Christianity. So, he became a priest, taking the name St. Patrick, and went to convert the Irish.

In his autobiography, St. Patrick talks about spreading the Christian faith and building schools and monasteries along the coast on Ireland. One myth says that St. Patrick drove the snakes out of Ireland. But...turns out there were never snakes in Ireland. So, that was just a rumor, I guess. Or it could be talking about how he cleansed Ireland of their pagan ways.

St. Patricks day falls on the 17th because that is when he supposedly died. Since then, it has been treated as a holy day by Irish Christians.

It falls during Lent, the season before Easter when Catholics give up their vices to show their devotion to their faith. But St. Patty's day became a day of reprieve, where people were allowed to down a pint or two...or fifty...of ale in honor of the saint. How convenient his time of death was!

Little could he know that some 1500 years after his death, he would be honored by debauchery and all things green and gaudy...nice? I guess...

In honor of the day, here is some lovely green garb (hopefully this will make up for my utter lack of green today):

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