St. Patrick

Begorra! Had it not been for a band of Irish marauders in the fifth century, March 17 might’ve been plain old Maewyn’s Day; because Maewyn wouldn’t have changed his name to Patrick, and he likely wouldn’t have become a saint. Okay, so it wouldn’t have been a ‘Day’ at all…

But as it happened, the 16-year-old Welsh lad was kidnapped by those Irish marauders, and during the six years young Maewyn spent in captive servitude as a shepherd in Ireland, he experienced a religious awakening. Escaping his captors he took a new name, Patrick, and then spent years studying in a monastery. He took on a new calling, too; converting his adopted country to Christianity.

Patrick certainly had the luck of the Irish: Not only did he break away from and evade his captors, but several times later in life he escaped from arrest from the pagan Druids (who didn’t really appreciate his zestful missionary activities in their midst).

He was successful at that chosen mission, too; founding schools and churches and performing baptisms with a fervor: Ireland became a Christian country. The shamrock (clover to you and me) became his cleverest teaching tool. It’s said that he used ‘em to explain the Trinity: Three elements, parts of one entity. Oh, and let’s not forget that he drove the snakes (those Druids) out of Ireland.

So, why is corned beef and cabbage traditional St. Patrick’s Day fare, you ask..? Um, I have no idea.

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