St. Patrick's Day -- more than shamrocks and leprechauns

As much fun as it is to go wild with green food coloring and wear as many shades of the color as possible, St. Patrick's Day has a much deeper meaning behind it. I'm sure St. Patrick would be appalled if he could see the shenanigans that occur on the holiday dedicated to him, from pranks and pinching to partying in the pubs (honestly, the alliteration was unintentional. I promise).

Last year I shared a prayer by St. Patrick as well as a brief biography. If you missed the post or don't remember, it's an interesting tale of how a formerly wealthy British boy went on to establish hundreds of churches on the island that enslaved him. I cannot even begin to fathom the great faith it must have taken to not only return to the land of his captors, but to love its people.

"It was among foreigners that it was seen how little I was," he writes, in Confessio, one of two short works authored by St. Patrick.

"It was there [Ireland] that the Lord opened up my awareness of my lack of faith... He guarded me before I knew him... He protected me and consoled me as a father does for his son.

That is why I cannot be silent -- nor would it be good to do so -- about such great blessings and such a gift that the Lord so kindly bestowed in the land of my captivity. This is how we can repay such blessings, when our lives change and we come to know God, to praise and bear witness to his great wonders before every nation under heaven."

I am not Catholic, and I'm not sure I could name more a half-dozen saints off the top of my head (actually, I would be surprised if I could name that many). But green is my favorite color, I have an inexplicable fascination with Ireland, and over the years I've become more and more curious about this fellow named Patrick who isn't, in fact, a leprechaun, and may not even have anything to do with shamrocks.

(Confession: I made Irish brown bread yesterday, and I have every intention of wearing green tomorrow.)


  1. I have a deep fascination (and love!) of Ireland too. It's just so..pretty! I always loved learning about Ireland history best in school. :) Although, ha, I think most holidays are skewed from their original origins, right?!
    Thanks for stopping by @ Paper Fury!

    1. Really? Cool! I hear the sky is often pretty grey, but I guess the enormous amount of green balances it out. :) I never learned about Irish history in school, but I did read a massive book once called The Princes of Ireland, which gave a pretty good overview of the early history, with a fictional slant, of course. And yes, I was actually thinking after I posted this about how most holidays have been hopelessly skewed (not that I have anything against Santa Claus or leprechauns...).

  2. I'm 1/3 Irish myself, so I've always had a really deep fascination with Ireland and Irish culture myself, so this post has been really intriguing to read. :D I think it's really interesting to see how far cultures have evolved from when they first started, and Irish culture really is a great example of that. Thank you for sharing Serena, and fabulous post! ♥

    ~ Zoe @ Stories on Stage

    1. I'm glad you liked it! My fascination with Ireland truly is inexplicable, since I don't even have any Irish background. :) Have you ever been there?