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The luck of the Irish - Celebrate Saint Patrick

Bernice Cooke Art Artwork Galway Artist Giclée Prints Old Buildings Pen and Watercolor prints Ruinlust Short story Writer

No not Saint Patty's day, but Saint Patricks Day.

Saint Patrick, who was he? Why do us Irish celebrate and what it means to be Irish?

Well he is the patron Saint of Ireland, details are not clear on what year he was born, but most scholars guess the 4th century or where he was born, plenty of books state it may well have been Wales, others say Scotland.

  As an Irish school kid it was one history lesson I retained in my memory, the story of Saint Patrick.  Books state that he came from a religious family but he was not religious himself until he turned sixteen, when his life suddenly changed.

He was kidnapped by Irish Pirates along with many others and sold into Ireland as a slave.  In his own words he spent six long hard years as a slave in the North of Ireland, shepherding pigs and sheep on Mount Slemish in County Antrim.

It was then he turned to religion, thinking his circumstances was a punishment for not believing in God.  Praying at every opportunity, he had a vision of escaping to Britain as a stowaway, back to his family.  Once home, he had a vivid dream that the Irish were calling him back to Ireland to spread the word of God, but not just yet.  He wanted to become a priest and study so he travelled to France to a monastery where he trained for twelve years, returning to Ireland as an ordained bishop with permission from the Pope.

Arriving in County Down, life was not going to be easy, Ireland was ruled by Chieftains and Celtic Druids who opposed this religion he was teaching.  Having to escape capture many times he travelled up and down the island of Ireland, performing baptisms, creating monasteries, schools and churches for the people of Ireland.  For twenty years he preached the word of God.

Saint Patrick died on the 17th of March, therefore that is the day, we Irish celebrate and commemorate.

This Saint Patricks day celebrate what it means to be Irish.

1. Make and drink an Irish coffee.

2. Attend a local parade.

3. Dress up in green.

4. Get yourself an Irish Flag.

5. Sing some Irish songs.

6. Have a go at dancing an Irish reel or jig.

7. Listen to some Irish ceilí music.

8. Cook and eat an Irish Stew.

9. Watch an Irish Film - The Quiet man - an oldie but a goodie.

10. Read up on the fascinating history of Ireland.



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