Tuesday, March 17, 2009

St. Patrick's Day Fun Facts - Who is Maewyn Succat?

Because we homeschool we studied up a little on St. Patrick to find out what we were celebrating. Thanks to Wikipedia and the world wide web here are a few little facts we dug up that you can use to WOW your friends.

1. Maewyn Succat is the "real" name of the Saint we call Patrick today. He took the name Patricius (latin for well-born) upon becoming a Priest. He died on March 17, 460 AD.

2. Patrick wasn't actually Irish. He was born in Scotland. In his youth he was taken to Ireland by raiders and it is said he prayed every day during his captivity. He escaped back to Scotland only to hear the voice of the Irish say "Come back and walk among us" in his dreams which he did.

3. Blue, not green, was the original favored color of Ireland; the Coat of arms of Ireland, the Irish Presidential Standard, the Ancient Colours of Ireland as well as the Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom representing Northern Ireland all prominently feature blue.
The change to green most occurred around the 1750's where wearing a shamrock represented nationalism or Roman Catholic faith.

4. The actual phrase "wearing of the Green" most likely comes from a Irish street ballad dating to 1798 (anonymously penned) about the Irish Rebellion of 1798. Green was the color of the Society of the United Irishmen. Wearing a shamrock in the hat was a sign of rebellion.

5. St. Patrick used a shamrock to explain the concept of the Trinity (3 persons in 1) to the people of Ireland.

To end today's little lesson, here's an Irish Prayer in honor of St. Patrick:

May God give you...
For every storm, a rainbow,
For every tear, a smile,
For every care, a promise,
And a blessing in each trial.
For every problem life sends,
A faithful friend to share,
For every sigh, a sweet song,
And an answer for each prayer.

Here's hoping the answer is "yes".

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