The Luck of the Irish in the New Year
St Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland is shrouded in so many fantastical stories that one wonders if he was a man at all. The real Patrick was a simple human being who was kind, gentle, courageous, and confident in his beliefs. True, he was larger than life but not the way most people think.
Maewyn Succat is the name given at birth to the man we know as Patrick of Ireland around the end of the 4th century. Most likely, he was born in Britain and the son of a Roman deacon named Calpornius who was also a tax collector. His grandfather was Potius during the reign of Constantine the Great, first Christian emperor of the Romans so it is easy to see how Patrick would be influenced in ‘the family business’ from an early age on. As one of Roman nobility, a station of honor and privilege, Patrick would have had hereditary privileges as well. His father would have had high hopes for his son, knowing he could one day rule over his less fortunate countrymen. Continue reading
Pope Francis is my hero. For years. Catholicism ruled much of Ireland and there are those who believe it still does. Ar least, 80% of Irish schools are still Catholic and even with history dug up from the Magalene laundries .. to priest pedophiles .. to the power the church had to take children away from single mothers and fathers .. Catholicism still thrives today. In fact, according to the viewpoints and actions of Pope Francis, the church has more responsibility than just making an atonement for her sins. Continue reading
The Celts believed water had magical properties, hence the holy wells of Ireland. One reason might have to do with how the water got here. Though there are many myths about the beginning of civilization, one theory is that the world was covered in water, flooded so to speak, and when the waters receded, the most holy of it was left behind, perhaps seen as a passage between the earth and the Otherworld. The most holy and the largest of the waters, ( in Ireland at least) the River Boyne and the River Shannon. The water of holy wells was also seen as a regenerative life-force, perhaps to grow back severed limbs, make a woman conceive or give great wisdom when drunk or bathed in it. Continue reading