Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Today is indeed Saint Patrick's Day and as tradition dictates I will call my boyhood friend Andy Allum to wish him a happy feast as I have done for the last forty-five years since we went to high school together in San Gabriel. I am so tempted to go to a local Irish pub this afternoon and get some traditional Irish Stew. I love that stuff! The picture is from today's big Saint Patrick's Day celebration in New York City-- the biggest in the world. As for the great saint, himself here are a few interesting facts about him. Pious legend credits Patrick with banishing snakes from the island, though all evidence suggests that post-glacial Ireland never had snakes;one suggestion is that snakes referred to the serpent symbolism of the Druids of that time and place, as shown for instance on coins minted in Gaul (see Carnutes), or that it could have referred to beliefs such as Pelagianism, symbolized as “serpents". Legend also credits Patrick with teaching the Irish about the concept of the Trinity by showing people the shamrock, a 3-leaved clover, using it to highlight the Christian belief of 'three divine persons in the one God' (as opposed to the Arian belief that was popular in Patrick's time). Some Irish legends involve the Oilliphéist, the Caoránach, and the Copóg Phádraig. During his evangelising journey back to Ireland from his parent's home at Birdoswald, he is understood to have carried with him an ash wood walking stick or staff. He thrust this stick into the ground wherever he was evangelising and at the place now known as Aspatria (ash of Patrick) the message of the dogma took so long to get through to the people there that the stick had taken root by the time he was ready to move on. The 12th century work Acallam na Senórach tells of Patrick being met by two ancient warriors, Caílte mac Rónáin and Oisín, during his evangelical travels. Saint Patrick was not born on March 17th -- he actually died on this day. This is his FEAST DAY not his birthday! Well Happy Saint Patty's Day To all!

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