Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Happy St. Patrick's Day!
I decided I wanted to know more about Mr. Maewyn Succat (our Saint Patrick)on this fun-filled day, and I thought I would share. I didn't even know he was a Roman citizen until now! Ah, the glories of Wikipedia!
Ten Interesting Facts- (or something for you to read when you are bored at work, cleaning your fingernails and day-dreaming.)
1. He was captured and lived as a slave in Ireland for 6 years, before escaping back to his family in Wales.
2. He had a vision in his twenties that he was to go back and minister to the people of Ireland.
3. He was effective in his evangelism of the pagan culture around him because he truly treated them as equals, not acting superior to the people- but one who came to the people with a very important message.
4. Patrick lacked education, was forced to use translators as he did not know the languages, but had a very contagious heart for God. He led people to Christ through his example- he lived his life the way he would have preached it.
5. General George Washington used the password "Saint Patrick" at his army encampment during the Revolutionary War.
7. In another attempt to "be all things, to all people", Patrick used bonfires to celebrate Easter, as the Irish were used to celebrating their pagan gods with fire. He also put a sun symbol behind the cross (the Celtic cross we see now) to help the people make another connection between their nature-based pagan beliefs, and the one, true God of the Universe.
8. Blue was the color originally associated with honoring Saint Patrick- not green!
9. The story of the three-leafed Shamrock being used to explain the Trinity to people is attributed to Patrick's early teaching to the Irish.
10. People said Patrick was the one who rid Ireland of snakes- but it is much more likely there were never any snakes in that cold, wet country.
What a great piece of history- if it weren't for Catholic saints, what excuse would we have for all our fun holidays?