The feast of Saint Patrick provides both.
Saint Patrick, is commonly thought to be the most famous of Irishman. This is, in fact, not true. Patrick was born in 385 in the village of Bennaven Taberniae in Britain. He was the son of a deacon and was comfortably off. When Patrick was sixteen he was captured by Irish raiders and sold as a slave to a sheep farmer in Ulster. Patrick prayed incessantly for strength and for his captors. Patrick never felt alone in Ireland as he always felt the presence of God in his heart. After six years God provided the opportunity for Patrick to escape from Ireland and return home. God also placed it in his heart that he was return to Ireland and bring the Faith to the people there. After studying in Rome Patrick, with the blessings of the Holy Father, returned to Ireland and proceeded to convert the people.
"Good St. Patrick traveled far, to teach God’s Holy Word
And when he came to Erin’s sod, a wondrous thing occurred
He plucked a shamrock from the earth and held it in His hand
To symbolise the Trinity that all might understand
The first leaf for the Father
And the second for the Son
The third leaf for the Holy Spirit
All three of them in one."
Patrick was familiar with the pagan ways of the people and used his knowledge to win them over. And win them he did, to this day, fifteen hundred years later, Ireland remains a Catholic country. Read the preamble to their Constitution:
It is beautiful, is it not?
So let us get to all things Irish in the blogosphere. Dawn is always my first stop when I am brainstorming for a celebration and her plans for Saint Patrick’s Day do not disappoint. Her darling sons are going to have a wonderful week or books, music and food. It will truly be a cherished memory for them.
Elena is incorporating Saint Patrick into her homeschool with a week of reading, baking and crafts. Please click on the link for the pretty Irish paper Elena provides. It is a wonderful resource.
Valerie has written some really complete plans for her St. Patrick’s Day celebrating. She continues her plans here It is really an entire unit study with things that will appeal to all ages so I encourage you to spend some time there and print away. Valerie’s blog is new to me and you can bet I will be a frequent visitor. I was particularly enchanted by her memories of her grandfather telling her tales of the Banshee. I have similar memories of my Nana telling me those stories. Thank you for conjuring up the memory Valerie!
My sweet friend Meredith has a post about her plans to make green glass shamrocks with her children. Meredith please post pictures so we can see how it all comes out. It sounds like a lovely keepsake. Meredith is also our resident menu guru (I am humbled by her organizational skills) and shares her menu for the big day.
Now, just to prove that a great idea deserves repeating I am including Alice’s lovely Irish craft from last year. The little sculpey crafts we made using Alice’s plans were pulled out with great joy this year and more are on the agenda for tomorrow.
Willa put together a really exhaustive and and complete list of books and movies that she has listed by category. It includes geography, art, poetry and much more. I believe that Willa was planning the reading list because of a proposed trip to the Emerald Isle.
I am appropriately green with envy.
In addition to these lovely posts I’ve found some neat things I wanted to share.
This website offers audio of The Lord’s Prayer, The Hail Mary and The Glory Be in Irish.
I hope that you all had as much fun at the Fair as I have had hosting it. The Loveliness of Saint Patrick’s Day will continue with a pictorial follow-up when I return from our family trip. Please email me with your posts and pictures of your celebrations and I will post them when I return. In the meantime I leave you with this Old Irish Blessing…
May love and laughter light your days,
and warm your heart and home.
May good and faithful friends be yours,
wherever you may roam.
May peace and plenty bless your world
with joy that long endures.
May all life’s passing seasons
bring the best to you and yours!