Saint Patrick’s Day. Who was Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland? On March 17, every year we celebrate this cultural and religious feast. Enjoy it!
Today, March 17, it is Saint Patrick’s Day, a great cultural and religious celebration in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, but also widely celebrated by the Irish diaspora around the world: Britain, Canada, the United States, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand… everywhere with Irish population.
In fact, I have been celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day in Spain for years. In the Mediterranean villages and towns, it is widely known. Then, local people join Irish retired, tourist, emigrant men and women to drink that special green beer, sing Gaelic folk music and dance while wearing a typical gnome hat.
Pubs and bars are decorated with shamrocks or young sprigs of clover or trefoil. Because currently, shamrock is the symbol of Ireland. Tradition says that St. Patrick used it as a metaphor for the Christian Trinity… Definitely, green is the color for this day, the color of the nature, of a permanent green Romantic Ireland.
Saint Patrick’s day commemorates the arrival of Christianity in Ireland. According with some legends and some historical data, Saint Patrick (c AD 385-461) was the first bishop of Ireland, and March 17 was made an official Christian feast day in the early seventeenth century. Now, the feast is observed by the Catholic Church, but also by the Anglican Communion, the Eastern Orthodox and Lutheran Churches.
Two Latin letters written by Saint Patrick have survived. The Confessio and the Epistola to the soldiers of Coroticus. The Confessio is the more important of the two. In it Patrick gives a short account of his life and his mission.
St. Patrick was born in Roman Britain at Banna Venta Berniae, identified as modern Ravenglass in Cumbria. His fapher was Calpornius, a deacon, and his grandfather Potitus, a priest. When he was sixteen, he was captured and he remained slave for six years in Ireland. In these tragic circumstances, his faith grew and he started to pray daily. In the Confessio, Saint Patrick wrote that one day, he heard a voice telling him that he would soon go home and that his ship was ready. It was true and after various adventures, returned home to his family… Of course, sometime after, he decided to return to Ireland as a bishop.
The second letter speaks about his problems and sufferings in a land where he was a foreign person not very well accepted.
Anyway, it doesn’t matter if you are not a religious person, because the day celebrates the heritage and culture of the Irish in general, involving parades and festivals. The most important: Irish church lifts for the day whatever restriction on eating and drinking alcohol, which has encouraged and propagated the holiday tradition of alcohol consumption.
Enjoy Saint Patrick’s Day, Yareah friends!
Saint Patrick’s Day. More about Isabel del Rio: http://www.isabeldelrioyareah.com