Greetings and Salutations,
Now that the calendar has turned to March, let’s talk about how you’re going to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day this year. You know, Patrick, the guy who invented green beer and the shamrock? No, no, no. St. Patrick lived from 390-461 AD and he was a bishop and missionary to Ireland, and is that country’s patron saint.
He was born of Christian parents in Roman Britain. At sixteen he was captured by barbarian raiders and carried off to Ireland as a slave. After six years as a swineherd he escaped and eventually returned to Britain. To the astonishment of family and friends, he resolved to return to Ireland as a missionary. After many hardships and disappointments he was able to return to the land of his bondage as a missionary bishop. Patrick was not the first Christian missionary to Ireland, but he was by far the most successful. It is said that he found a heathen Ireland, but left a Christian one.
Two works are attributed to Patrick: an autobiographical Confession, in which he tells us, among other things, that he was criticized by his contemporaries for lack of learning, and a Letter to Coroticus, a British chieftain.
To prepare yourself for your evening’s festivities on St. Patrick's Day later this month (when you’ll likely get ossified and the next day be knackered), find below a lovely recording of a hymn. It's lyrics are from a poem called "Deer's Cry" which tradition tells us was written by Patrick. It’s brilliant, lad!
Dia Duit (God Bless You in Irish Gaelic),