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
Celtic people measured time not by days but by nights. beginning at dusk instead of dawn. With Samhain when the crops were waning. Beginning on Oct. 31st. Not Jan 1st. One of the reasons for beginning with evening, is the Celts’ reverence for the moon and certainly they followed the stars, were great astrologers in fact. Take Newgrange in Ireland. Newgrange is a 5000 year old passage grave and is situated so that the only drop of light shines through a tiny window on the Winter Solstice, Dec. 21st, remarkably close to Christmas and not a coincidence for sure, as the way of the Catholic church was to replace what pagan ideas they could with their own Christian teachings. See other posts on this blog for more information about early Christianity in Ireland. Continue reading
Irish saints are a mainstay of Irish history. A sixth-century monk named Brendan, who would later become known as St. Brendan the Navigator, set out in his tiny seal skin boat with his fellow abbots to a far away land called Hibernia, the name given to Ireland by the Greeks. They voyaged across the cold Atlantic shores toward a wild, mostly untamed territory. They were looking for grace or a way to come closer to God.They came from Britannia (England), Germania (Germany), and Rome as well as all over Western Europe. They wrote Latin and poetry, spoke different languages and came from the highest social ranks. After blending with the Irish, they became the record keepers of genealogies and stories. They became known as the most learned men of Europe. Whether they learned from the Celts or the Celts learned from them is inconsequential. The first Irish monks in Ireland were born .. and Ireland would be changed forever by their arrival.. Continue reading
The Catholic Diocese Prefer the Color Black but what did the Pagan Irish wear? When I traveled to Ireland for the first time, we stuck out like thumbs on a cactus and I didn’t know why.. How did they know even before we spoke, we were from America? “You’re on holiday aren’t yeh?” we heard or “I like your yellow jackets,” they’d said with a smirk. I looked about shyly, noting nearly everyone in brown, black, or navy blue coats, not anything as bright as our yellow slickers.
Niall Williams, who wrote memoirs and plays after moving home to his native Ireland after years in New York City, stated that when gifts arrived from the U.S, and he laundered said gifts, he would hang them on the clothes line and everyone knew right away he had parcels from American by the color. I don’t think its a coincidence that Catholic nuns and priests wear black. I’m not sure why but I have a suspicion. The Celts loved color!!!
Color Meant a Higher Place in Society The Brehon laws stated that only a certain number of colors could be worn on a person and that number reflected where your class was in society. You may have only been allowed two colors if you were a farmer, perhaps five if you were a king. Continue reading