From wearing green to eating traditionally Irish food people all over the world have embraced the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day. We search for shamrocks, pinch our neighbor who forgot what day it is, and pub crawl to find green beer, but rarely know why we are celebrating. By the way, green beer counts as Irish food this week!
Saint Patrick’s real name is believed to be Maewyn Succat. Several countries claim him as their own with Britain and Scotland having the strongest suit. He was captured by Irish raiders and transported to Ireland. When he escaped he returned to Britain and became a priest – taking the name Patrick.
Later he returned to Ireland to spread Christianity to the Pagans. St. Patrick may not have considered the four leaf clover to be lucky as he actually used the standard shamrock to demonstrate the holy trinity.
March 17th commemorates his death and canonization by the church.
There are still many who quietly celebrate St. Patrick’s Day as a religious holiday, but like most celebrations the Irish folklore, food and festivities are the order of the day.
So, whether you are headed to mass or to the pub; remember Maewyn Succat and his determination, despite great opposition to educate and spread Christianity through Ireland during a time that we can barely imagine.