Of course I had to have Snoopy and Woodstock!
Now when one thinks of St. Patrick's Day, you think: green, pots of gold, rainbows, shamrocks, parades, leprechauns, and so on. And really, every single one of those has some bearing on the creation of St. Patrick's Day. The greatest thing about St. Patrick's Day though, is the celebration of who you are and remembering where you came from. Heritage is an important matter in life. We're raised to learn about our heritage, to treasure it and eventually pass it on to the next generation.
His name originally wasn't actually Patrick but Maewyn (that is a cool name) Succat and he was born 387 A.D. No one really knows where he was born, but many believe it to be in what is now Banwen, Wales. Maewyn was the son of a wealthy deacon, Calpurnius, his mother's name was Conchessa and he had at least one sister, Darerca. When when he was sixteen he was kidnapped by Irish pirates and was sold into slavery for six years, working in the Irish fields where he trained to be a shepherd.
Life as a sheep herder was hard and long, and the Irish weather was cold, rainy and relentless In the midst of all of this, Maewyn prayed and spoke to God and believed that God would sometimes speak back to him. Maewyn did escape when he was in his early twenties and manged to make it back home. There he immersed himself in the Christian teachings hoping to one day return to Ireland as a missionary and to free the slaves.
|Carlow Cathedral - St. Patrick Preaches to the Kings|
What I find ironic is that when Maewyn returned home he could have stayed there in Banwen, get married and have a regular life, but he went back to Ireland because he loved the people and wanted to set them free from their physical and spiritual slavery. St. Patrick's devotion to God and to a people and country that weren't his to begin with is part of his undying legacy.
So, be you Irish or not, whether you celebrate the life of this Saint in church or at home, or just enjoy the merriment of St. Patrick's Day with parades, parties and awesome hats, remember to always celebrate life. Sometimes that can be hard; we go through challenges that seem unbearable, we're made to put up with unbearable people and circumstances, and sometimes it's not even our fault. Yet, to give up on living is a waste; as long your heart is still beating, there is always hope for a better life that is worth celebrating.
"If I have any worth, it is to live my life for God so as to teach these peoples;
even though some of them still look down on me."