AND TOP ‘O THE MORNING TO YA!
Saint Patrick is the patron saint and national apostle of Ireland. St Patrick is credited with bringing Christianity to the land of Ireland. Most of what is known about him come from his two works; the Confessio: a spiritual autobiography, and his Epistola: a denunciation of British mistreatment of Irish Catholics.
And why is the Shamrock the National Flower of Ireland?'
Explaining the Holy Trinity to the pagan population, St. Patrick used the shamrock as a visual tool. Yoga and meditation are now more popular in Ireland than going to Mass. I wonder what St Patrick would think about all that?!
For so many years, as a non-Irishman, being curious about things Irish, married one, and found out they weren't telling us everything we needed to know.
For instance, you'd think that the Irish held their first parade in Dublin on St. Patrick's Day, but they didn't! No, they got their parade tradition from the American Irish, yes, those who emigrated: to America where in 1762 held their first St. Patrick Day Parade in New York City!
Now don't go all out of joint bejesus, this is fact, and the fact it is that that is not all. No, the Irish have been hiding the facts about the old sod from us non-Irish. Please be seated for the next paragraph on this fascinating expose' on the Irish culture in America.
Wait, it gets even more interesting, the hero of this all, the central figure so to speak, St. Patrick, who was not Irish (Oh the Saints save us!) but a Scotsman whose parents were of Roman Ancestry is scandalous in its own right! It seems that St. Patty was kidnapped by pirates and sold into slavery, in Ireland and for about 6 years then managed to escape and became a Christian who devoted his life to ridding Ireland of pageantry. That thing about snakes and Ireland, well he never did that either. There were no snakes in Ireland at that time, and snakes are not native to the old sod. The snakes are a metaphor for pagans. His driving out the snakes was really driving out the pagans.
When before the turn of the last century, the Irish were coming to America in large numbers, I would say ‘droves' but they sailed here instead. Yes, and to cap off injury with insult, were forced to live in large areas with other undesirables, namely Italians and Jews. It is here where we examine another myth far worse than St. Patrick being Irish. It seems that pork was the preferred meat in Ireland and coming to America, pork was prohibitive. The Irish being poor, would on occasion go to Jewish delis for sandwiches of corned beef. The beef was inexpensive here in America and the Irish figured it out that corned beef was an excellent substitute for pork. The Jews taught them that adding cabbage to the boiling of the corned beef flavored the vegetable and along with a potato or two and some carrots, you could feast rather cheaply my friend!
Well don't be downhearted, the reason they Irish are known as drinkers is because they knew all the facts, and liquor made them happy again.
Here's a little levity to go with that pint!
A sobbing Mrs. Murphy approaches Fr O'Grady after mass, and he asks:
"So, what's bothering you?"
She replies: "Oh, Father, I've terrible news. Me husband passed away last evening."
The priest says: "Oh, Mary, that be terrible, bejesus! Did he have any last requests?"
"Certainly father," she replied. "He said: "Please Mary, put down that damn gun."
And yet still…
One night, Mrs. McMillen answers the door to see her husband's best friend, Paddy, standing on the doorstep.
"Hello Paddy, but where is my husband? He went with you to the beer factory"
Paddy shook his head. "Ah Mrs. McMillen, there was a terrible accident at the beer factory, your husband fell into a vat of Guinness stout and drowned"
Mrs. McMillen starts crying. "Oh, don't tell me that, did he at least go quickly?"
Paddy shakes his head. "Not really - he got out 3 times to pee!"