as many of you know, st. patrick's day is quickly arriving, and as happy as i am to celebrate, i wanted to take the opportunity to share the origins of the holiday, because it makes a difference in how you celebrate.
Saint Patrick was not Irish, but British, though he was taken captive to Ireland when he was sixteen. He was a slave there until he was told by God, in a dream, to escape to the shore and take a ship back to Britain.
When he returned to Britain, he joined the church and studied to become a priest. He later returned to Ireland to evangelize, and according to folklore, used the shamrock as a teaching tool: a symbol of the trinity. He taught the Irish people until his death, and he was buried in Ireland.
The celebration of St. Patrick's day began as a feast day in Ireland and Europe by the ninth century, and eventually became a Catholic holiday.
It has long been a celebration of Irish culture, but the secularization of Saint Patrick's holiday began in the industrial revolution, when Irish workers marched on the occasion to make a statement about their working conditions and treatment as a group.
While the holiday remains marked by an overabundance of alcohol and green clothing, I am making an informed decision to celebrate Saint Patrick, for his love of the Irish people and his commitment to the Gospel. I will be wearing a shamrock, and I hope you will be too.