Wednesday, 17 March 2010

The Real Saint Patrick's Day

In the way of a slight editorial I offer the following thoughts on St Patrick's Day.

Much like Halloween, St Patrick's Day has been taken over and redefined, rudely commercialised, made into, something it was not. Today there are very silly outward expressions to celebrate this great man's day, such as dyeing lager beer green, or rivers green, or wearing over-sized green clothing, followed by too much drink and too much food, and all the while not a thought given to Saint Patrick, nor his feast day.

There is also the real St Patrick's Day, An lá fhéile Pádraig, the Patron Saint of Ireland, a historical figure that brought much good to Ireland. A Celt himself, from the Cymro population of the Britain. His day we celebrate and we enjoy a feast on this day because it is a 'feast' day during the season of Lent. The day is one of wholesome celebration of Ireland's Patron Saint by Irish and Northern Irish Christians, family's gather, good food is served, there is ól, ceol, agus craic, but with decorum and observation of the gravity of the day and tomorrow it is back to Lent.

A good way to remember St Patrick is to read his writings. Two genuine writings of Saint Patrick are in existence today. These writings have become public only during the 19th century. One is "The Confession", an autobiography of Saint Patrick near the end of his life. Another is "A letter to Coroticus", containing a fierce complaint against Coroticus who had raided a number of Patrick’s converts. Both of these can be found online with a Google search and are highly recommended as part of a real St Patrick's Day celebration.

3 comments:

Sir Thomas said...

Thank you. I have been dismayed for many years now how the day has deteriorated. He was a great man, truly blessed and used by God Himself. Thanks again.

Jarred said...

Why don't the advocates of Ullans help those of us who wish to popularise a "different kind of Irish" by providing us with greetings for St Patrick's Day in "our tongue."

What is Ullans for Lá Fhéile Pádraig?

Barry R McCain said...

Jarred, very good point you make. I would absolutely LOVE to support Ullans and have tried to many times, I've begged Ullan speakers to write articles, to post, to do anything in the language. Some of my cousins in east Donegal speak Ullans; I've heard the language many times.

Alas, I don't speak, nor read and write it. My people, the McCains, were originally from Argyll, mid Argyll, were Gaelic speakers when they came to Ulster circa late 1500, but I know many of them also became Ullans speakers in Ulster. I do know Ulster Gaelic fairly well, which is quite an accomplishment for a Mississippi lad.