Hope Wissel

Happy St. Patty’s Day

st. patty

Happy St. Patty’s Day!

Today marks the life and deeds of St Patrick, one of Ireland’s patron saints. Everyone will be dressed in green.  Some will carry the flag of the Republic of Ireland which is green, orange and white.  While others will consider it a day to consume mega quantities of beer especially those associated with Irish culture.  Decorations will include shamrocks, snakes and serpents as well as leprechaun’s and pots of gold.

But what does it all mean and where did this celebration come from? Honestly, I didn’t know the full story behind it.

St. Patrick is one of the patron saints of Ireland. He is said to have died on March 17 in or around the year 493. He grew up in Roman Britain, but was captured by Irish raiders and taken to Ireland as a slave when he was a young adult. After some years, he returned to his family and entered the church, like his father and grandfather before him. He later returned to Ireland as a missionary and worked in the north and west of the country.

According to popular legend, St Patrick rid Ireland of snakes. No, not the slithering on the ground kind!  The “snakes” that St Patrick banished from Ireland, refers to the pagan worshipers of snake or serpent gods.

When Irish immigrants fled to other parts of the world, including the United States, in the 19th and 20th centuries; many of the Irish customs became popular in this country.  Over time, it has become commercialized as a day of drinking, parades and fun.

The most common St Patrick’s Day symbol is the shamrock, NOT a 4 leaf clover.  The shamrock is the leaf of the clover plant.  It actually represents the Holy Trinity – Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

What is YOUR favorite tradition on St. Patrick’s Day?  Share it with us or better yet, snap a photo and let us celebrate with you.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

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