Thursday, March 17, 2005

Saint Patrick's Day

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

So how did this day, St. Patrick's Day, turn into a day of wearing green and drinking green beer? St. Patrick was actually and Englishman born in Wales in 385 A.D. Until the age of 16, he considered himself a pagan who had been sold into slavery by a group of Irish thugs who raided his village. His time in captivity and slavery brought him closer to God. After six years in slavery he escaped to a monastery in Gaul where he studied under the Bishop of Auxerre for 12 years. He felt called to convert pagans to Christianity, and further called to return to Ireland to do so. Patrick (who, as yet, was still not considered a saint) was so successful in winning converts that he upset the Celtic Druids and was arrested several times -- only to escape each time. He traveled throughout Ireland for 30 years doing the work of his calling before retiring. Patrick passed away on March 17, 461 A.D.

So what about the shamrock, wearing green, and drinking green beer? It is believed that Patrick used a shamrock in his sermons to represent the trinity -- how the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit were three individual parts of the same union. Green beer has absolutely no root in Irish customs. In fact, it seems to be almost solely a North American custom. Why green? Because Ireland, after all, is the Emerald Isle.

Hope you have a happy one!

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