Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy St. Patrick's Day -- Day 69

Walk: R/T Mindful Body
Distance: 8 blocks and teach class

Every year I put on some green and enjoy myself on St. Patrick's Day. I think it's a grand day even though I'm not Irish. Neither are they:



And, actually, neither was St. Patrick. He was born in Britain around A.D. 390 to an aristocratic Christian family (apparently with many slaves). At age 16 he was kidnapped and sent overseas to Ireland to tend sheep as a slave himself. It was there that he underwent a deep conversion to Christianity and, according to folklore, heard a voice in his dreams telling him to escape. Presumably that was music to his ears and he found passage on a pirate ship back to Britain where he was reunited with his family.

Fine, except the voice then told him to go back to Ireland. Again he followed, becoming ordained and spending the remainder of his life trying to convert the Irish to Christianity. He was constantly beaten by thugs, harassed by the Irish royalty, and admonished by his British superiors. After he died on March 17, 461, he was largely forgotten until slowly mythology grew around him, and centuries later he was honored as the patron saint of Ireland.*

Now, clear or unclear on the concept, people of many nationalities enjoy a fine St. Patrick's Day wearing green, drinking green beer, watching parades, enjoying various festivities with friends. Maybe you were one of them.



*For more St. Paddy's Day facts and myths go to http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2012/03/120316-saint-patricks-day-2012-march-17-facts-ireland-irish-nation/

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