Life Part Two

The adventures of Fay and Bob as they move beyond the 9 to 5 life

Happy St. Patricks Day

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I don’t think I have a drop of Irish blood in me but I can still honor the death of St. Patrick in 461 or 420 or 493.   It’s not clear.  Did you know he wasn’t even born in Ireland?   When he was 16 he was taken as a slave from Briton to Ireland.  Here is some other information which I didn’t know from Wikipedia.  I think you will find it interesting.

St. Patrick banishes all snakes from Ireland

Slow worm in grass.ogg

A slow worm moving through grass

Pious legend credits St. Patrick with banishing snakes from the island,[59] chasing them into the sea after they assailed him during a 40-day fast he was undertaking on top of a hill.

However, all evidence suggests that post-glacial Ireland never had snakes, as on insular “Ireland, New Zealand, Iceland, Greenland and Antarctica…So far, no serpent has successfully migrated across the open ocean to a new terrestrial home” such as from Scotland on the neighboring island of Britain, where a few native species have lived, “the venomous adder, the grass snake, and the smooth snake,” as National Geographic notes,[62] and although sea snake species separately exist.[60][63] “At no time has there ever been any suggestion of snakes in Ireland, so [there was] nothing for St. Patrick to banish,” says naturalist Nigel Monaghan, keeper of natural history at the National Museum of Ireland in Dublin, who has searched extensively through Irish fossil collections and records.[60] The List of reptiles of Ireland has only one land reptile species native to Ireland; the viviparous or common lizard.

The only biological candidate species for appearing like a native snake in Ireland is the slow worm, actually a legless lizard, a non-native species more recently found in The Burren region of County Clare as recorded since the early 1970s, as noted by the National Parks and Wildlife Service of Ireland, which suspects it was deliberately introduced in the 1960s. So far, the slow worm’s territory in the wild has not spread beyond the Burren’s limestone region which is rich in wildlife.[62]

One suggestion, by fiction author Betty Rhodes, is that “snakes” referred to the serpent symbolism of the Druids[64] during that time and place, as evinced on coins minted in Gaul. Chris Weigant connects “big tattoos of snakes” on Druids’ arms as “Irish schoolchildren are taught” with the way in which, in the legend of St. Patrick banishing snakes; the “story goes to the core of Patrick’s sainthood and his core mission in Ireland.”[65]

St. Patrick uses shamrock in an illustrative parable

Legend (dating to 1726, according to the OED) also credits St. Patrick with teaching the Irish about the doctrine of the Holy Trinity by showing people the shamrock, a three-leafed plant, using it to illustrate the Christian teaching of ‘three divine persons in the one God.’[66] For this reason, shamrocks have definitely become a central symbol for St Patrick’s Day.

Nevertheless, the shamrock was also seen as sacred in the pre-Christian days in Ireland. Due to its green color and overall shape, many viewed it as representing rebirth and eternal life. Three was a sacred number in the pagan religion and there were a number of “Triple Goddesses” in ancient Ireland, including Brigid, Ériu, and the Morrigan.

Here is a pretty little Irish poem that I think you will like.

May your thoughts be as glad as the shamrocks,
May your heart be as light as a song,
May each day bring you bright, happy hours,
That stay with you all year long.

I will celebrate the day energetically  by going to Glow, a rock opera with music from Tommy, Jesus Christ Super Star, etc.  It should be really fun.

Author: Fay

Follow the adventures of Fay and Bob, 65 plus, as they explore the country to look for a new home, sell their MN home, finally move and get settled into a new state and town.

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