It’s March 17th So Some Facts About Saint Patrick Today.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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march 17 st patrick's day

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Happy Saint Patrick’s Day to one and all who celebrate these things.

Grab a glass of your green beer and find out a few facts about St. Patrick that you may find interesting and a little surprising.

Enjoy.

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donald duck st patrick's day

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Let’s start with this fact,

Saint Patrick wasn’t Irish

and he wasn’t born in Ireland.

Although he is remembered for introducing

Christianity to Ireland in the year 432, Patrick was

born to Roman parents in Scotland or Wales in

the late fourth century (about 385 AD)

so actually he’s British!

 

British Order of St Patrick
British Order of St Patrick

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And while we are doing a bit of myth-busting,

you might as well also know that the

Shamrock is not the symbol of Ireland.

It is a popular Irish symbol,

but the symbol of Ireland is the Harp.

As early as the medieval period, the harp appeared

on Irish gravestones and manuscripts and was

popular in Irish legend and culture well before that.

King Henry VIII used the harp on coins as early as 1534.

Later, it was used on Irish flags and Irish coats of arms.

Starting in 1642 the harp also appeared on flags

during rebellions against English rule and when

Ireland became an independent country in 1921,

it adopted the harp as the national symbol.

Harp national symbol of Ireland
The Harp is the national symbol of Ireland.

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Although today many people claim that

the shamrock represents faith, hope, and love,

or any number of other things,

it was actually used by Patrick to teach

the mystery of the Holy Trinity,

and how three things,

the Father, The Son, and the Holy Spirit

could be separate entities, yet one in the same.

Obviously, the pagan rulers of Ireland found

Patrick to be convincing because they

quickly converted to Christianity.

 Holy-Trinity-Shamrock

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Patrick’s first introduction to the Irish was not a pleasant one.

At the age of 16, he had the misfortune of

being kidnapped by Irish raiders who took him away

and sold him as a slave.

He spent several years in Ireland herding sheep

and learning about the people there.

At the age of 22, he managed to escape and

made his way to a monastery in England where

he spent 12 years growing closer to God.

 (St) Patrick being given the opportunity to leave Ireland where he had been held as a slave

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The original color associated with St. Patrick is blue,

not green as commonly believed.

In several artworks depicting the saint,

he is shown wearing blue vestments.

King Henry VIII used the Irish harp in gold

on a blue flag to represent the country.

Since that time, and possibly before,

blue has been a popular color to represent

the country on flags, coats-of-arms,

and even sports jerseys.

Ireland’s association with the color green

came later, presumably because of the greenness

of the countryside, caused by endless rainfall.

Today, the country is also referred to as the “Emerald Isle.”

 saint patrick color blue

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The St. Patrick‘s Day parade was invented

in the United States, not Ireland.

On March 17, 1762, Irish soldiers serving in the British army

marched through New York City, the parade and accompanying

music helping the soldiers celebrate their Irish roots,

as well as reconnect with fellow Irishmen

serving in the British army.

In 1848, several New York Irish Aid societies united

their parades to form one official New York City

St. Patrick’s Day Parade which has become one of the

largest St Patrick’s parades with about 200,000

participants and 3 million onlookers.

It is also the oldest civilian parade in the United States.

Only the City of Boston rivals it.

 st patrick's day parade new york city

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By contrast, the world’s shortest St. Patrick’s Day

parade is in Dripsey, Cork, where the

parade lasts just 100 yards and

travels between the village’s two pubs.

 St. Patrick’s Day parade Dripsey Cork

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And only the Irish know why this parade goes from

one pub to the other because until 1970 St. Patrick’s

was what was known as a dry holiday in Ireland,

meaning that all pubs were shut down for the day.

The law was overturned in 1970, when St. Patrick’s

was reclassified as a national holiday

– cheers to that!

 green-beer

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In the United States during the mid 19th century,

the Roman Catholic Irish faced discrimination

much like that faced by African Americans.

Unlike the Protestant Irish who quickly assimilated

into their new country and became Americans,

(their descendants now number many millions in the USA),

the Roman Catholic Irish clung to their religion and culture

and were perceived as a potentially disloyal.

To combat this, they began to organize themselves politically

and by the end of the 19th century, St. Patrick’s Day was

a large holiday for the Roman Catholic Irish and an occasion

for them to demonstrate their collective political and social might.

In more recent times the political emphasis has faded along with

the discrimination, and the holiday has now become popular as an

opportunity for festivity regardless of one’s cultural background.

 St. Patrick’s Day parade new york roman catholic irish

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The New York and Boston St. Patrick’s Day celebrations

may well be impressive in their own right,

but they have a rival.

St Patrick’s Day has twice been celebrated in space.

In 2011, the International Space Station hosted

a St. Paddy’s Day celebration with Irish-American

astronaut Catherine Coleman playing a hundred-year-old flute

and a tin whistle belonging to members

of the Irish group, the Chieftains,

while floating weightlessly in space.

Coleman’s performance was included in a track entitled

”The Chieftains In Orbit” on the group’s album, ‘Voice of Ages’.

And in 2013, astronaut, Chris Hadfield, celebrated

St Patrick’s Day by photographing Ireland from

space while singing Danny Boy.

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