St. Patrick’s Day. St. Patty’s Day. St. Patty O’s Day. Whatever name you call it, one thing is for sure: it hardly reflects the Christian origin in which it began. Like many holidays before and after St. Patrick’s Day, it has been Americanized into a tradition that reflects our culture, and in this case, one that includes alcohol, costumes and excuses to grope others. As March 17 approaches, how do you plan to celebrate the good works of patron Saint Patrick?
St. Patrick: The Man Behind the Holiday
According to history.com, St. Patrick was born in Britain, not Ireland like most assume. He remained in Britain until his teenage years, where at the age of 16 Irish raiders took him and family. St. Patrick was transported to Ireland, where he spent nearly six years in captivity. It was during this time historians say he found, or renewed, his faith in Christ.
After escaping, he believed God has a mission for him: to convert the Irish people from their pagan faith to St. Patrick’s Christian faith. St. Patrick became an ordained priest and began ministered to Irish Christians and converting the pagan inhabitants. Rather than attempt to eradicate Irish beliefs, St. Patrick interlaced both their traditional rituals with the Christian faith, thus the Celtic cross.
St. Patrick Day Productions
Straying from the Christian celebration, American has done another successful job of turning a non-American holiday and making it our own. What was once an Irish celebration of dance and fellowship has now because a dressed-up mockery of leprechauns and green beer.
And why the shamrock green? Well, to avoid the Irish pagan fairies from pinching you, of course! You see, green makes you invisible to their wily ways, and our friendly neighbors are kind enough to pinch you in reminder to put on something festive. And the cleverness to learn upon pinching that the person’s underwear or socks are green. Clever clever!
St. Patrick’s Day Craziness
Millions of “Irish” folk will be out March 17, green-clothed and red-faced in jolly celebration. If you find yourself among the few not dressed in green, beware of the pinching fairies or pointy-toothed little leprechauns … and if you are not sure where to find them, look behind the pot of gold beneath the rainbow. Or perhaps hiding out in a box of Lucky Charms.
After all, this is surely what St. Patrick had in mind when he heard God speak to him about preaching to the lost souls in Ireland.