THUNDER BAY – Today, on March 17th the world celebrates the patron Saint of Ireland, St Patrick.
The world celebrates by wearing green, having parade’s through the streets and downing a few pints at the local pub with your mates. But why do we celebrate this particular Saint so much?
St Patrick was born in AD387 to a wealthy Romano-British family with a family tie to the church as his Grandfather and Father were both Deacons in the church. St Patricks real name is Maewyn Succat. When St. Patrick was only 16 years old he was kidnapped by Irish raiders and taken to Ireland as a slave for 6 years. During his time in captivity acting as a shepherd for his captors, believed to be located on the west coast of Ireland he believed to have found God. Although St. Patrick was born British, he now considered himself Irish as this is where he found God. St Patrick escaped as he believed God came to him in a dream and told him to make it to the coast where there would be a ship waiting to take him back home. St Patrick did make it home and upon arrival studied to become a priest.
St Patrick returned to Ireland voluntarily in AD432 as a bishop to teach Christianity. Irish folklore says that St. Patrick used the 3 leaf clover to teach the Holy Trinity to the Irish people. St Patricks day, March 17th is the day we believe St Patrick died. The day became known as St Patricks day as it was celebrated by the Catholic Church because of the work he did spreading Christianity to Ireland. Irish Folklore also says that St. Patrick chased all of the snake out of Ireland as he stood on a tall hill and with his wooden staff banished the snakes out of Ireland and into the sea. It is a true fact actually that Ireland has no snakes.
In Ireland, St. Patricks Day is a national holiday and is celebrated as probably the most joyous day of the year. Although through time it has lost the traditional religious message and has moved into more of a alcohol infused holiday the message is the same. It is a time to grab your mates and head down to a local pub to down a pint or two. It is a time to celebrate with friends and family over some good food and beverage because after all isn’t that what life is all about anyways. Spending time with the one’s you love so what a perfect day it is to do just that.
This St. Patricks Day I thank my grandparents for making it to Canada from Ireland because although I am a whole hearted Canadian, sometimes, just sometimes over a couple of pints my Irish side comes out. So grab your friends and family and head down for a special green pint as there’s just something magical about a Irish Pub on St Patricks Day.
There’s an old Irish Saying;
“May the saddest day of your future be no worse than the happiest day of your past.”
Éirinn go Brách