Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Saint Patrick On Saint Patrick's Day

As you toast maybe with green beer,eat corned beef and cabbage,you probably will hear some great Irish stories.Unfortunately our Parade was rained out so will not be until this weekend,How can you celebrate the Day after the fact?

Any way,I heard that the story that Saint Patrick had banished the snakes from Ireland was not true,,,So went to look up a bit about him.I found this on the History Channel website and am lifting it.There are other interesting items about the Holiday there also should you be interested.This is from:

"Who Was St. Patrick?

St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, is one of Christianity's most widely known figures. But for all his celebrity, his life remains somewhat of a mystery. Many of the stories traditionally associated with St. Patrick, including the famous account of his banishing all the snakes from Ireland, are false, the products of hundreds of years of exaggerated storytelling.
Taken Prisoner By Irish Raiders

It is known that St. Patrick was born in Britain to wealthy parents near the end of the fourth century. He is believed to have died on March 17, around 460 A.D. Although his father was a Christian deacon, it has been suggested that he probably took on the role because of tax incentives and there is no evidence that Patrick came from a particularly religious family. At the age of sixteen, Patrick was taken prisoner by a group of Irish raiders who were attacking his family's estate. They transported him to Ireland where he spent six years in captivity. (There is some dispute over where this captivity took place. Although many believe he was taken to live in Mount Slemish in County Antrim, it is more likely that he was held in County Mayo near Killala.) During this time, he worked as a shepherd, outdoors and away from people. Lonely and afraid, he turned to his religion for solace, becoming a devout Christian. (It is also believed that Patrick first began to dream of converting the Irish people to Christianity during his captivity.)

Guided By Visions

After more than six years as a prisoner, Patrick escaped. According to his writing, a voice-which he believed to be God's-spoke to him in a dream, telling him it was time to leave Ireland.

To do so, Patrick walked nearly 200 miles from County Mayo, where it is believed he was held, to the Irish coast. After escaping to Britain, Patrick reported that he experienced a second revelation-an angel in a dream tells him to return to Ireland as a missionary. Soon after, Patrick began religious training, a course of study that lasted more than fifteen years. After his ordination as a priest, he was sent to Ireland with a dual mission-to minister to Christians already living in Ireland and to begin to convert the Irish. (Interestingly, this mission contradicts the widely held notion that Patrick introduced Christianity to Ireland.)

Bonfires and Crosses
Familiar with the Irish language and culture, Patrick chose to incorporate traditional ritual into his lessons of Christianity instead of attempting to eradicate native Irish beliefs. For instance, he used bonfires to celebrate Easter since the Irish were used to honoring their gods with fire. He also superimposed a sun, a powerful Irish symbol, onto the Christian cross to create what is now called a Celtic cross, so that veneration of the symbol would seem more natural to the Irish. (Although there were a small number of Christians on the island when Patrick arrived, most Irish practiced a nature-based pagan religion. The Irish culture centered around a rich tradition of oral legend and myth. When this is considered, it is no surprise that the story of Patrick's life became exaggerated over the centuries-spinning exciting tales to remember history has always been a part of the Irish way of life.)"

So Saint Patrick is honored today.


Elizabeth said...

Good summary of St Patrick's life. I am something of a scholar on the sujbect and it is good to see a decent rendering.


The Empty Envelope said...

My grandmother was from Armagh, which is where he made his church. I have been reading about him and it is really such a beautiful story. One of the things I love about Ireland is the mix of Christianity along with the belief in fairies, leprechauns, banshees, etc.

health coaching said...

That was a very informative post on the real St. Patrick and his blessed day. To be honest , I have never heard any stories of St. Patrick ever. So I am glad I found this blog and I am going to poke around a bit more.

EMR said...

It is nice to see the real story behind St. Patrick and his story of how he came to be.

UniqueNurseGranny said...

Thank you so much for visiting and taking the time to comment.I agree Empty Envelope and would like to say aomething about the leprechauns also since we have said something about faries earlier.Elizabeth that is quite a compliment.Thank you.Hea;th coaching glad you liked it and hope you will come again...

Southern Belle said...

Very interesting.