Lá Fhéile Pádraig a.k.a. S:t Pattys Day

Today the Ministry celebrates Saint Patrick’s Day (Irish: Lá ‘le Pádraig or Lá Fhéile Pádraig). And wears a green t-shirt, and green striped slipover. Regretfully theres no Guiness at home…

Saint Patrick

S:t Patricks Day is the feast day which annually celebrates Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, on March 17, the day on which Saint Patrick died.

It is the Irish national holiday and one of the public holidays in the Republic of Ireland (a bank holiday in Northern Ireland); the overseas territory of Montserrat; and the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador. In the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, and rest of Canada it is widely celebrated, although not an official holiday.


Chicago River dyed green on S:t Pattys Day

It became a feast day in the universal church due to the influence of the Waterford-born Franciscan scholar Luke Wadding, as a member of the commission for the reform of the Breviary in the early part of the 17th century.

Saint Patrick (Irish: Naomh Pádraig) was a Christian missionary and is the patron saint of Ireland (along with Brigid of Kildare and Columba). Uncritical acceptance of the Annals of Ulster (see below) would imply that he lived from 373 to 493, and ministered in northern Ireland from 433 onwards.

Patrick was born in Roman Britain. When he was about sixteen he was captured by Irish raiders and taken as a slave to Ireland, where he lived for six years before escaping and returning to his family. He entered the church, as his father and grandfather had before him, becoming a deacon and a bishop. He later returned to Ireland as a missionary, working in the north and west of the island, but little is known about the places where he actually worked and no link can be made with Patrick and any church. By the eighth century he had become the patron saint of Ireland, mostly owing to clever propaganda by the monastery of Armagh which claimed to hold his relics. The Irish monastery system evolved after the time of Patrick and the Irish church did not develop the diocesan model that Patrick and the other early missionaries had tried to establish.


The Shamrock

The available evidence does not allow the dates of Patrick’s life to be fixed with certainty, but it appears that he was active as a missionary in Ireland during the second half of the fifth century. Two letters from him has survived the tooth of time. Pious legend credits Patrick with banishing snakes from the island, though post-glacial Ireland never actually had snakes; one suggestion is that snakes referred to the serpent symbolism of the Druids of that time and place. Legend also credits Patrick with teaching the Irish about the concept of the Trinity by showing people the shamrock, a 3-leaved clover, using it to highlight the Christian belief of ‘three divine persons in the one God’ (as opposed to the Arian belief that was popular in Patrick’s time).

The S:t Pattys day is usually connected to party and drinking. In Denmark (not far from the Ministry) they are arranging the S:t Patricks Day 3-legged race.


The Copenhagen 3-legged Race

2 Responses to “Lá Fhéile Pádraig a.k.a. S:t Pattys Day”

  1. Ministry of Art & Jump - Ministry News Blog » Blog Archive » Ministeriet gratulerar Says:

    […] Patrik är Irlands skyddspatron och har i de flesta kalendarier fÃ¥tt sin dag den 17 mars. Dock inte i Sverige […]

  2. Ministry Blog » Blog Archive » Green Day Says:

    […] it’s the green day when we celebrate S:t Patricks Day.Regretfully it’s not very green around here. Still snow around and spring is nowhere in sight […]