Around here we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day because, we ARE Irish, both by affection and by heritage. Why do you suppose D has always called me Irish?
My paternal grandparents immigrated to America from county Cork before the civil war. Great-grandfather Cline (family tradition holds that it was anglicized from McLine, or possibly McLean) originally settled in Illinois. One son rose to the rank of Lt. Col. in the Illinois Infantry. Another, my Grandfather John Cline, was a memeber of the US Forest Service in Colorado for a time. He retired as an engineer for the Santa Fe and Rio Grande Western Railway in 1939. Moving west with the railroads, there are members of the Cline family scattered across this country. We’re
a part of its history and structure. AND…
We’re proud to be Irish!
We enjoy learning about our heritage and looking into our history.
We hope you’ll be wanting to join us, for ’tis true,
“All Hearts are Irish, if only for today.”
This especially beautiful quote, attributed to St. Patrick, is our celebration blessing to you. Enjoy.
“The love of God and his fear grew in me more and more, as did the faith, and my soul was roused, so that, in a single day, I have said as many as a hundred prayers and in the night, nearly the same.”
“I prayed in the woods and on the mountain, even before dawn. I felt no hurt from the snow or ice or rain.”
Some Irish tidbits for you.
The way we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in our country today is more American than Irish. It is said there are more Americans of Irish descent in America than there are Irishmen in Ireland. Americans celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with such fun and wild abandon that many people
in Ireland tune in their televisions to watch celebrations and parades in the U.S.
The first St. Patrick’s Day celebration in America was in 1737 hosted by the Charitable
Irish Society of Boston. The second was established in 1780 by the Friendly
Sons of St. Patrick in Philadelphia. It is not known if March 17
is celebrated because it is the date of St. Patrick’s birth or his death.
Some claim it is both, others say neither.
In Ireland, however, St. Patrick’s Day is a religious holiday. Shops
and businesses are closed to give everyone a day off to be spent with family
and friends. Catholics begin their day by attending Mass. Families gather
for celebratory meals and spend the day at popular sporting events- Gaelic
games, championship rugby matches or a steeplechase. There are big
parades in Dublin and
Belfast to celebrate national pride.
As to St. Patrick’s birthplace, the only definite statement is that he most certainly
was not born in Ireland. The son of a minor Roman official, he was
born in western Britain at the turn of the 5th century. Captured
by Irish raiders at the age of 16, he spent six years in Ireland
in slavery, working as a shepherd. He eventually escaped to France
where he trained as a cleric.
Returning to Ireland in about 432 AD he spent 30 or so years preaching and founding
churches. He founded 165 churches and started a school with each one. St.
Patrick used the shamrock when he preached the doctrine of the Trinity
as a symbol of its great mystery. (Today, it is widely worn in Ireland
and America to celebrate Irish heritage. In fact, several million shamrock
plants are grown in County Cork, Ireland, and shipped all over the world
for St. Patrick’s Day. )
St. Patrick is widely acknowledged as the patron saint of Ireland. He is also one of
the most well known saints in Catholicism.
In 433 AD, he challenged the High King of Tara, Laoghaire, by lighting
the paschal or Easter fires on top of the Hill of Slane against the pagan
king’s command. Laoghaire was so impressed with Patrick’s devotion
and sense of purpose that he let him continue his mission unobstructed.
There are no snakes in all of Ireland thanks to St. Patrick. Of all the legends
surrounding this popular figure, the most long-lived is the story of St.
Patrick driving the snakes from Ireland. As the population of Ireland
looked on, St. Patrick rang a bell and banished the snakes. The mountain
Croagh Patrick in county Mayo is sacred to his memory. Legend says that
it was here that the saint rang his bell and the snakes of Ireland fled.
The mountain is still surrounded by mystery and is annually visited by
It is commonly believed that the saint is buried in Downpatrick’s cathedral
graveyard, but the evidence to support this is unsound.
- HERE’S ONE THOUGHT ON THE SUBJECT – The name leprechaun comes from the Irish “Leith
bhroyan” or “Leith phroyan” meaning “one shoemaker”, as he is usually seen
working on only one shoe. He is erroneously called the “fairy shoemaker” but
he is really an elf and not a fairy. The
elf family consists of not only the Brownies of Scotland and the Leprechauns
of Ireland, but the Trolls and Gnomes of Scandinavia, and the Pixies, Pookas,
Knockers, Dulachans, Cluricanes, Red Caps and Bogles of the British Isles.Truly,
the Leprechaun is a shoemaker, for he has made shoes for the fairies non-stop
for centuries. He is also very rich and he covets his wealth. He is of a small
stature, he is uglier, older, and of a more temperamental nature than his
fairy counterparts. And, he is almost always a male of the species.
- AND YET ANOTHER – The name leprechaun is derived from the old Irish word luchorpan which means “little body.”A leprechaun is a fairy taking the appearance of a miniature old man. They are known to live in remote places. Leprechauns are solitary creatures and spend their time making shoes and brogues. If you hear the sound of his hammer when he is at work you know you have found him.All leprechauns possesses a hidden crock of gold. If you are fortunate enough to capture a leprechaun he might reveal the location of his gold to escape. But, keep
your eye on the leprechaun. If you look away, just for a moment, he will
- AND ANOTHER – An Irish fairy, who looks like a small, old man (about
2 feet tall), often dressed like a shoemaker, with a cocked hat and a leather
According to legend, leprechauns are aloof and unfriendly, live alone, and
pass the time making shoes… they also possess a hidden pot of gold. Treasure
hunters can often track down a leprechaun by the sound of his shoemaker’s
If caught, he can be forced (with the threat of bodily violence) to reveal
the whereabouts of his treasure, but the captor must keep their eyes on
every second. If the captor’s eyes leave the leprechaun (and he often tricks
them into looking away), he vanishes and all hopes of finding the treasure
- AND, FINALLY , THE FACTS –
Green is associated with Saint Patrick’s Day because it is the color of
spring, Ireland, and the shamrock. I’m not sure why Leprechauns are also
associated with this holiday. Leprechauns of legend are actually mean little
creatures, with the exception of the Lucky Charms guy. They were probably
added later on because Hallmark needed something cute to put on greeting
- Finding a four-leaf clover
(that’s double the good luck it usually is).
- Wearing green.
(American school children
have started a little tradition of their own — they pinch classmates who
don’t wear green on this holiday).
- Kissing the blarney stone.
- But in reality we are Blessed (Luke 11:28) rather than lucky.
What’s the Blarney stone?
- HERE’S ONE IDEA – The Blarney
Stone is a stone set in the wall of the Blarney Castle tower in the Irish
village of Blarney. Kissing the stone is supposed to bring the kisser the
gift of persuasive eloquence (blarney). The castle was built in 1446 by
Cormac Laidhiv McCarthy (Lord of Muskerry) — its walls are 18 feet thick
(necessary to thwart attacks by Cromwellians and William III’s troops).
Thousands of tourists a year still visit the castle.The origins of the Blarney Stone’s magical properties aren’t clear, but one legendsays that an old woman cast a spell on the stone to reward a king who had
saved her from drowning. Kissing the stone while under the spell gave the
king the ability to speak sweetly and convincingly.
It’s tough to reach the stone — it’s between the main castle wall and the parapet.
Kissers have to lie on their back and bend backward (and downward), holding
iron bars for support.
- AND HERE’S ANOTHER – Legend has it that the Blarney Stone formed half of the original
Stone of Scone and was given to Cormac Mc Carthy, Lord of Blarney, in 1314
by Robert the Bruce in gratitude for boosting his battalions with 40,000
troops during the victorious Battle of Bannockburn.
But it wasn’t until Cormac McCarthy saved an old woman from drowning that he learned the secret of the stone: that it would bestow the gift of eloquence upon
anyone who kissed it. Since that time people have come from the four corners of the earth to kiss the Blarney Stone.
- AND STILL A BIT MORE INFO – The Blarney Stone is a stone set in the wall of the
Blarney Castle tower in the Irish village of Blarney. Kissing the stone is
supposed to bring the kisser the gift of persuasive eloquence (blarney).We knew that! Blarney Castle was originally a timber hunting lodge built in the
10th century, which was replaced by a stone castle in 1210. The present day
construction was completed by Dermot McCarthy, King of Munster in 1446.
The Castle remained the ancestral stronghold of the McCarthy family until the
arrival of Oliver Cromwell with cannon guns in 1646. Fifteen years later with the
arrival of King Charles II on the English throne saw the return of the McCarthys
to the Castle. Following the Battle of the Boyne in 1690, all Irish chiefs were
stripped of their powers and the McCarthys were again forced to leave Blarney
Castle. The Castle was sold to Sir James Jefferyes, Governor of Cork in 1703.
The Castle is now owned and managed by the Trustees of the Blarney Castle
Estate. Its walls are 18 feet thick (necessary to thwart attacks by Cromwellians and
William III’s troops). Thousands of tourists a year still visit the castle.
So.o.o until the Day has passed away – here’s my wish for you all.
Follower of Christ, writer & artist.