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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

St. Patrick's Day and Irish Roots


My daughter, Michelle, has Irish roots. She actually can trace her ancestors on her father’s side of the family back to Ireland. I asked her if she was going to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day and her response was, “Isn’t this the day people party and get drunk, I’m not really into that. I don’t know anything about the significance of the day.”
I couldn’t pass up this opportunity to share my recently acquired knowledge about the patron saint.  St. Patrick is one of Christianity’s well-known figures and the patron saint of Ireland. He, like Joan of Arc, had also heard a voice, which he believed was God that told him to leave Ireland after a long stay in captivity.  In a second vision he saw an angel that told him to return to Ireland as a missionary. After his ordination as a priest, he returned to Ireland to minister to Christians already living there and convent the Irish still practicing paganism. There is the misconception that St. Patrick introduced Christianity to Ireland.
Just when I was getting ready to go into a long spill on all the accomplishments credited to St. Patrick, Michelle stopped me.
“Mom, what is Druidism and didn’t it flourish in Ireland?”
“Yes it did,” but before I could fully answer her question, she chimed in.
“I might wear green tomorrow, but I’ll be celebrating the freedom to worship the Divine, Nature, creativity and the arts.”
“You just gave a perfect description of Druidism a Nature-based spirituality.” I responded not surprised. After all, she was raised in a metaphysical/spiritual environment.
Then she replied, “What I really want to know it about leprechauns, the little people?”  
“Leprechauns have nothing to do with St. Patrick’s Day. They are a part of the Celtic folktales that people believed in fairies, tiny men and women who could use their magical powers to serve good or evil. So you better wear your green on March 17th,” I told her.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone and the freedom to worship as you please.

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