Saint Patrick

Does He Really Stand for Luck?

St. Patrick’s Day. If asking most people about the day, many will only know that it is the day to eat  corned beef and cabbage but know nothing about the man himself or history that defines this special occasion. They may know about a four leaf clover or lucky charm but even be vague in it’s myths as well.

What do you know about this day? Because we have just celebrated this date, I decided to share with you this reasons we have it on our calendars worldwide.

But is there really a story behind the four leaf clover, real history behind the name Saint Patrick? Who is this Saint? Is this holiday celebrated in Ireland? Do people really eat corn beef and cabbage all over the world or has America made it up?

What are the mysteries that surround this holiday? Why does everyone wear green? Why are we all being pinched in the name of St. Patrick? So many questions, and do any of us have all the answers, in lieu of the fact we have just celebrated his holiday once again!  

Yet, when you sat down to dinner this year with your family to enjoy the corn beef, cabbage, potatoes and carrots sprinkled with peppercorns, did you give much thought to why on this particular day every year you’re gathered around with your family you likely don’t eat with the rest of the year long!

Did you know that Saint Patrick truly is a saint and not just a name we gave a date in order to celebrate, at the table?

Dates from saint Patrick’s life cannot be really determined with any certainty, but the one thing that seems to be agreed-upon is that he was an active man as a missionary in Ireland during the second half of the fifth century. 

The fact is, St. Patrick, was and is one of Ireland’s favorite Patron Saints. Born in Roman Britain, he was only about fourteen when captured by the Irish pirates during a raiding party, taken to Ireland and used as a slave to herd and tend to sheep. Although at that time, Ireland was a land of Druids and pagans, Patrick turned to God, writing his memoir, The Confession. He wrote: The love of God and his fear grew in me more and more, as did the faith, and my soul was raised , so that, in a single day, I have said as many as a hundred prayers and in the night, nearly the same. I prayed in the woods and on the mountain, even before dawn. I felt no hurt from the snow or ice or rain.

Patrick was held captive for about 6 years escaping after having a dream from God in which he was told to leave Ireland by going to the coast. Sailors he had found returned him to his family in Britain. It is reported that after he had been sailing for three days, the ship landed in Britain where they all walked for 28 days in the wilderness, where you imagine, they had been reported to have become weak from hunger! Patrick had prayed for sustenance when the group to put their faith in God when they encountered a herd of wild boar. The group greatly increased their impression with him thereafter. He returned home to continue studying Christianity.

In early medieval tradition, he was given credit for being the first bishop of Armagh and Primate of Ireland. The medieval tradition also gave him credit as the founder of Christianity in Ireland, converting a society practicing a form of Celtic polytheism. Despite evidence of some earlier Christian presence in Ireland, he has been generally regarded as such ever since. Most  photographs/illustrations have his robes in green and so he has become known and associated with the color. 

His life is celebrated world over in feast March 17th every year as the suspected date of his death. This date is celebrated both in and outside Ireland, as a religious cultural holiday. In the dioceses of Ireland, it is both a solemnity and a holy day of obligation and it is also a celebration of Ireland, itself. 

After Patrick became a cleric, he returned to both western and northern Ireland. In his later years though the location is unknown, he served as a Bishop. By the seventh century, he had already come to be revered as the patron saint of Ireland.

His Biblical quotations are a mixture of the version and the Vulgate, completed in the early 5th century, suggesting he was writing “at the point of transition from Old Latin to Vulgate”although it is possible the Vulgate readings may have been added later, replacing earlier readings.The Letter to Coroticus implies that the Franks were still pagans at the time of writing:their conversion to Christianity is dated to the period 496–508.

The reputed burial place of Saint Patrick is Downpatrick. The dates of Patrick’s life are uncertain; there are conflicting traditions regarding the year of his death. His own writings provide no evidence for any dating more precise than the 5th century generally.

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Now, should you not be interested in the sainthood side of St.Patricks life, I have some fun and interesting superstitions I found online just for your entertainment! Perhaps, you can find the luck of the Irish! Fair warning…it is said not to be easy! The Irish do have a long and impressive list of good luck charms too! But beware…they also have a list of bad omens as well.

Here are a few superstitions I found on line when researching:

  • Have an itch in your left hand that won’t stop? That could mean you’re about to have a pot of gold come your way but if the itch is in the right hand…still good luck…a new friend may be coming into your life.
  • Love the leprechauns? Their reputation is not good and they can be deceitful. But capture them and they will tell you where they hide their treasures for their freedom…But, take your eyes off for a split second and they will vanish.
  • Ever seen a cuckoo? If on your right, an entire year of great luck in in store but don’t look left as if you do, your luck is certainly going to be bad if you see them!
  • If you kill a robin redbreast, it means a lifetime of bad luck, so treat them with utmost care.
  • Are you feeling sick from all that corned beef and cabbage? Well the Irish say tie a bunch of mint sprigs around your wrist to cure an upset stomach.
  • Lucky enough to find a four-leaf clover? Congratulations! You’re in for some good luck gambling and racing. Furthermore, witchcraft has no power for you! But keep it to yourself. The luck only lasts so long as you don’t show anyone your clover.

So for you, which is it…celebration of a Patron Saint or an excuse to enjoy a corn beef cabbage dinner, believing in Leprechauns, pots of gold and shamrocks?  

Four-leaf clover – The four-leaf clover is the most prominent lucky item associated with St. Patrick’s Day. Believed to be a Celtic charm, four-leaf clovers were used for magical protection from evil spirits and to repel bad luck. The leaves of the clover stands for faith, hope, luck and love. Whoever comes across a four-leaf clover is granted good luck and is protected against any  bad luck. Shamrock – A shamrock (three-leaf clover) is the traditional symbol of Saint Patrick’s Day. The history behind this symbol is that St. Patrick depicted the Holy Trinity within the clover. Just like the four-leaf clover, the shamrock also grants the beholder with good luck.

Finally, Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland has brought about many superstitions, good luck charms such as horseshoes, rabbit’s foot, four leaf clovers and pots of gold! What began as a religious feast day in the 17th century has evolved into a variety of festivals across the globe celebrating Irish culture with parades, special foods, music, dancing, and a whole lot of green.

Is some of that other green, gold? What part of St. Patricks Day interest you? Is it this pot of gold?Are you chasing your good luck and hoping the Irish luck brushes off on you?

Pot of gold – The luckiness behind  a pot of gold is that it is believed to grant the individual the success, fulfillment or happiness he or she desires. The belief is that leprechauns hide a pot  of gold at the end of a rainbow for mortals to find. The pot of gold is considered to be lucky because gold is linked to wealth and fortune. It is also a symbol of luck due to its connection to rainbows, which are considered magical and signs of hope and prosperity.

Whatever your choice, I wish you only the best in life. Remember, you really make your own luck and I invite you to visit my web site and order my book so you can see how I made my own! Come walk 600 miles in my shoes! 

 

 

No matter what Life throws at you, it’s where Giving Up, is Never an Option

Until Later!

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