Top of the mornin’! As my father used to say, with his green eyes sparkling and huge grin. Then he’d take a drink of his coffee and crackle the newspaper straight. All heart treasures now. Sparkly green shamrock ones with gold glitter, actually. But St. Patrick’s day always reminds me of our family roots and I thoroughly enjoy this holiday. Especially who St. Patrick was, an incredible man who was taken as a prisoner when he was just 14 by Irish pirates to be a slave in Ireland from his home in Roman Britain.
He later wrote in his memoir, The Confession, “The love of God and his fear grew in me more and more, as did the faith, and my soul was rosed, so that, in a single day, I have said as many as a hundred prayers and in the night, nearly the same. I prayed in the woods and on the mountain, even before dawn. I felt no hurt from the snow or ice or rain.”
When he was twenty, God told him in a dream to go to the coast to return home. He escaped, made it to the coast, and there found sailors that would take him home to Britain and his family. After being home, he had a vision that he described as, “I saw a man coming, as it were from Ireland. His name was Victoricus, and he carried many letters, and he gave me one of them. I read the heading: ‘The Voice of the Irish.’ As I began the letter, I imagined in that moment that I heard the voice of those very people who were near the wood of Foclut, which is beside the western sea-and they cried out, as with one voice: ‘We appeal to you, holy servant boy, to come and walk among us.”
This prompted him to study for priesthood. He was ordained and sent to take the Gospel to Ireland. There is a legend that is quite impressive, when St. Patrick met the druid chieftan who tried to kill him, it was said that God intervened and saved the life of St. Patrick and the soul of the chieftan. He then went forth preaching and establishing churches across Ireland for the next 40 years.
Shamrocks…He often used shamrocks to explain the Holy Trinity, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Entire kingdoms were eventually converted to Christianity after hearing St. Patrick’s message. He lived in poverty, traveling and enduring much difficulty until his death on March 17, 461. It was said that he was humble, pious and gentle. And his trust in God was so complete he feared nothing, not even death.
St. Patrick’s poem, “The Breastplate”
“Christ be within me, Christ behind me, Christ before me, Christ beside me, Christ to win me, Christ to comfort and restore me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ inquired, Christ in danger, Christ in hearts of all that love me, Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.”
And with that, I present to you my St. Patrick’s day decor! I will be sharing my recipes for our celebration dinner of Corned Beef, Cabbage, Irish Soda Bread and a surprise dessert! Coming soon! Until then…
May joy and peace surround you,
contentment latch your door,
and happiness be with you now
and bless you evermore.