Monday, March 17, 2008

Ireland In My Heart

I bind to myself today
The power of Heaven,
The light of the sun,
The brightness of the moon,
The splendour of fire,
The flashing of lightning,
The swiftness of wind,
The depth of sea,
The stability of earth,
The compactness of rocks.
From The Song of St.Patrick's Breast Plate

As a proud descendant of Boyds, Kavanaughs and O'Malleys I celebrate St.Patrick, my Irish heritage and Ireland today. Did you know that St.Patrick's given name was Maewyn? I like that. I also think that it is interesting that he tried to integrate some of the pagan rituals & customs of the Celts in his attempts to Christianize them. I found the passage below about St. Patricks use of crosses and bonfires from, I think, the History website.

"....Familiar with the Irish language and culture, Patrick chose to incorporate traditional ritual into his lessons of Christianity instead of attempting to eradicate native Irish beliefs. For instance, he used bonfires to celebrate Easter since the Irish were used to honoring their gods with fire. He also superimposed a sun, a powerful Irish symbol, onto the Christian cross to create what is now called a Celtic cross, so that veneration of the symbol would seem more natural to the Irish. (Although there were a small number of Christians on the island when Patrick arrived, most Irish practiced a nature-based pagan religion. The Irish culture centered around a rich tradition of oral legend and myth. When this is considered, it is no surprise that the story of Patrick's life became exaggerated over the centuries-spinning exciting tales to remember history has always been a part of the Irish way of life.)..."

"...One traditional icon of the day is the shamrock. And this stems from a more bona fide Irish tale that tells how Patrick used the three-leafed shamrock to explain the Trinity. He used it in his sermons to represent how the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit could all exist as separate elements of the same entity..."

Happy Saint Patrick's Day to one and all.

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again,
may God hold you in the palm of His hand.

Traditional Gaelic Blessing


mouse (aka kimy) said...

cead mile failte!

although my heritage is completely slovak/czeck, I am certain that in a previous incarnation I must have been irish given my lifelong attraction and identification will all things irish. when we visited ireland I felt an immediate kinship to the land. I guess by marriage I can consider myself part of the noble celtic tribe as my f is half irish!

great post. thanks.

sandra wyman said...

Happy St Patrick's Day (though I once knew someone who celebrated St Patrick's week)

La Tea Dah said...

Your post about St. Patrick's Day was very interesting. Thanks for sharing.


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