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St, Patrick

Image by Geraldine Dukes from Pixabay

The Feast of Saint Patrick, or simply, St. Patrick’s Day is a religious holiday held on March 17th, the traditional day of Saint Patrick’s death.  

Since the 9th century, Irish Catholics have historically gathered two days past the ides of March to venerate the priestly spirit of this saintly man named Patrick, who challenged a pagan people to embrace the one true God — and won!

To my surprise, I discovered that Saint Patrick’s Day is not only an official feast day in the Catholic Church, but also in the Anglican Communion, the Eastern Orthodox Church, and the Lutheran Church.

Surprising since St. Patrick’s Day was made an official Christian feast day by the Church in the 17th century, almost a century after the Protestant divide and almost 700 years after the Great Schism, showing the impact Patrick had on the entire Christian community.

I understand the significance of this day for the Irish diaspora.  However, as grand St. Patrick’s accomplishments might have been, the day we celebrate his legacy has become an amateur drinking festival, hijacked by politicians and corporate sponsors.

Now, don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with eating too much Corned Beef and knocking back a few pints to celebrate your Irish heritage.  I do!

I somewhat agree with John Waters that “Drinking in Ireland is not simply a convivial pastime, it is a ritualistic alternative to real life, a spiritual placebo, a fumble for eternity, a longing for heaven, a thirst for return to the embrace of the Almighty.”

Even Saint John Paul the Great thought it necessary for Catholics to have an intimate connection between faith and culture (Walsh, pg 15).

In the past, however, the majority of us who have had a wee’bit too much of the Shamrock never lost the thirst of the Almighty.

More and more, Irish Americans self-identify with beer drinking and bar-hopping than then we do with the Faith handed to us by St. Patrick.

The Celtic spirit burns in all of us – and sometimes, its a’bit hard to control.  (Trust me, I know).

So, on St. Patrick’s Day let your Celtic light shine!    But let’s  not forget why it shines!   It shines because our Patron Saint gave us the gift of the True Light!

As always, the Irish say it best.

Saint Patrick was a gentleman,
Who through strategy and stealth,
Drove all the snakes from Ireland,
Here’s a toasting to his health.
But not too many toastings
Lest you lose yourself and then
Forget the good Saint Patrick
And see all those snakes again.

Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig oraibh!  Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

James DobkowskiJames Henry is the author of Corporation YOU: A Business Plan for the Soul, Hail Mary series, and two children’s books: The Second Prince and Klaus: The Gift-giver to ALL!  As a writer, James has been widely featured on Bob Salter (CBS Radio), Mike Siegel, Mancow, and more.

Today, James lives in New York where he continues to teach — and write.

To contact James or book an interview, please contact Mark of Goldman/McCormick PR at (516) 639-0988 or Mark@goldmanmccormick.com. 

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