Happy St. Patrick’s Day Weekend

Happy Friday, All “Me Leprechauns”!

Yes, and T.G.I.F.!

Since growing up in New York though upstate, as White Plains, NY has often been called, I have always had a fascination with all of the symbols, trinkets and festivities associated with St. Patrick’s Day, including the famous St. Patrick’s Day parade in New York City, since so many Irish immigrants set up shop there a few centuries ago. One thing I knew, on this day, everybody becomes Irish!

Some of the rumors and practices focus on beer drinking, parties, parades, fantastic Irish culinary treats like corned beef and cabbage, four leafed clovers signifying good luck and even a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow . . .

Yet, the real St. Patrick, born around AD 390 into an aristocratic family in Britain that had wealth and slaves, had no interest in Christianity. At 16, he was kidnapped and taken to the countryside of Ireland to work in bondage tending sheep and doing farm work and treated nearly like a slave. Historical interpretations vary. So for seven years (Lucky Number 7) he toiled until a voice came to him telling him to escape. When he did, he returned to Britain and was eventually reunited with his family. Now, you may think that that was enough. But no! . . . after some time, he wanted to return to Ireland and driven by a Christian conviction, sought to spread Christianity there.

Over the years during his work, he was beaten by thugs, harassed by Irish royalty and admonished by his British superiors. When he died on March 17th AD 461, he was largely forgotten, according to historical accounts. However, over the years and centuries following, somehow, he was dubbed the patron saint of Ireland and St. Patrick’s Day became a wide spread phenomena celebrating Irish culture, folklore and treats!

Enjoy your weekends and Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Peace and Love,

John I. Cook, Director

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