A grand day for wearin’ o’ the green
Friday, March 17, 2006 10:00 AM
‘Tis green will be the color of the day, if you please -- whether you hail from the Emerald Isle, or are one of those poor unfortunates from somewhere else on the planet.
After all, one doesn’t have to actually be Irish to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day today. The good saint himself wasn’t. He was a Welsh boy, captured as a slave, who later became a Catholic priest and was sent to the wild island west of Britain to try to Christianize the Gaelic tribes there.
He succeeded admirably, it would seem, partly by using the materials that came to hand in Ireland -- such as the island’s abundant natural greenery. Legend holds that St. Patrick used the Irish shamrock with its three leaves to illustrate to his potential converts the Christian concept of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost.
In the days when all western Christians were Catholic, each nation had its own patron saint -- George in England, Andrew in Scotland, David in Wales.
St. Patrick’s Day became a kind of affirmation that the then-poverty stricken, oppressed Irish were just as good as anyone else, as well as a celebration of their faith.
Then, too, there is the Irish love of celebration, a good time, and good talk. True, most ethnic groups have their festivals and such, but the Irish love of them seems to be in larger measure. And the oratory that is part of St. Patrick’s Day celebrations goes along with the Irish fondness for talk.
So whether you’re really of the ould sod or only Irish for 24 hours a year, today is the ideal day for The Wearin’ o’ the Green. Erin Go Bragh!