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Essays and Such

Irish Cultural Society

of San Antonio Texas

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Promoting Awareness of Irish Culture

An Saint Patrick and Irish Christianity
By Jim Lavelle
Bringing Christ to the Irish Pagans

Saint Patrick and Irish Christianity

Extract of ICS newsletter, March 1991

Artical by Jim Lavelle

Saint Patrick and Irish Christianity

***
What is it to be Irish? Why on Saint Patrick's Day, to be Irish is to know more glory, adventure magic, victory, exultation, gratitude and gladness than any other person can experience in a lifetime. ***

I, Patrick, sinner, am the most illiterate and inconsiderable of all the Faithful, and despised in the hearts of marry... so began the writing of the saintly man whom we call Patrick in his Confessions

*** May Saint Patrick guard you wherever you go and guide you in whatever you do - and may his loving protection be a blessing to you always. ***

Patrick, Where Were You Born? The most ancient possibility was Kilpatrick, Lennox diocese of Glasgow. Some scholars have said Boulogne, France. Patrick in his Confessions tells us that it was the village of Bannavem, Tabemiae. Other scholars mentioned Dumbarton Castle Rock, while others Strathclyde. Most authorities favored regions further south Cumbria, South Wales or southeast England as his place of birth.

*** May the good Saint Patrick love you And ask Our Lord to bless You and all your dear ones With health and happiness. ***

Local tradition says erroneously that Patrick was buried in his "native place" but the Irish chroniclers tell us that he lies in Downpatrick­

In Down three saints one tomb fill Patrick, Bridget and Columkille ***

Saint Patrick's Confessions and his Letter to Coroticus are the only documents that have survived from the British Isles in the century after the fall of Rome.

*** May your days be very happy May your life be free from cares May Saint Patrick ask Our Blessed Lord To answer all your prayers.
***

Patrick at the age of sixteen was carried off into slavery quite possibly by Niall, the High King of Ireland. He was a slave in the house of Miliucc a harsh Celtic chieftain at Slemish in Co Antrim.

***

Back in the 4th century, a kid growing up with a name like Magonus Sucatus had to be tough. That stood Patrick in good stead when he was captured by Irish raiders, who overlooking any early signs that he might be saint material, set him to herding swine. After six years of slavery, God appeared to Patrick in a dream, telling him to escape.

*** May our blessed* good Saint Patrick Whom we all so dearly love Intercede and bring you Many blessings from above. ***

Both the father and grandfather of Saint Patrick were in Holy Orders. His father Calpumius was a deacon; his grandfather Poitus a priest. It is an interesting observation that had celibacy been imposed upon the clergy in Britain in the 4th century Ireland would have lost her patron saint.

*** You who are bent and bald and blind With a heavy heart and a wandering mind, Have known three centuries, poets sing, Of dalliance with a demon thing. St. Patrick to Usheen. Years ***

As for the New York Saint Patrick's Day parade, this year (1991) it will be the 229th consecutive year, having begun on the 17th of March 1762, 14 years before the Declaration of Independence was adopted. Although this parade started in colonial times, the day did not begin to take on the nature of a civic holiday until the mass immigrations of the 1840's and '50s. By 1871 the annual March event had been transformed into a lavish extravaganza of floats and banners. The parade this year will consist of over one hundred thousand marchers with a viewing crowd in excess of one million and will take five hours to complete.

***

An incomplete list of churches dedicated to Saint Patrick throughout the world compiled in 1932 revealed the enormous total of 461 in the US, 166 in Ireland, 164 in Australia, 73 in Britain, 65 in Canada besides others in New Zealand, Africa, India, China, South America and the Pacific Islands. Of the nineteen bells which greet New Yorkers at 8 o'clock each morning from Saint Patrick's Cathedral, sound the Angelus at noon and speed workers from their offices at 5 o'clock, the largest bell is named after the saint. On it is inscribed

Your Patrick, I; As your sires, so also ye; Ever be, Emulators, imitators of me.

References Patrick, Sixteen Centuries With Ireland's Patron Saint compiled and edited by Alice Boyd Proudfoot I Follow Saint Patrick by Oliver St. John Gogarty.