Thursday, March 17, 2005

St. Patrick's Day

Josh about covers it.
All you have to know about St. Patrick's Day is enough to make polite conversation when other topics don't come to mind or would be too risky. For kids it's fun. For old people a break in the routine. For drinkers, yet another excuse to drink. And for the coffee break peers, something to fill time other than the weather, TV shows and having a bad hair day.

Originally born in Britain sometime in the 5th century, St. Patrick was captured at around age sixteen and taken to a Druid chief in Ireland. During his six years of captivity, Patrick's faith strengthened so that when he returned to Britain at age 22 he decided to set his sights on eventually returning to bring the Gospel of Jesus to Ireland. This he did sometime between 432 or 462 at a turbulent time when Rome was withdrawing from Britain (and also a time when some say a "King Arthur" rose to power). Although Patrick was not the first Christian missionary to Ireland, he certainly had the biggest impact. According to legend Patrick banished snakes from Ireland, but some argue that Ireland never had snakes in the first place.

Many believe he died on March 17th, so that is why we celebrate his feast today. It is common, indeed required among some, that people wear green to commemorate this day. But I hasten to note that green is the color for Catholic Irish to wear. Protestant Irish, such as myself, should wear orange.

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