The Wearin' O' The Green

By Mary Cummins Wlodarski

St. Patrick was a missionary spreading the Gospel in a land filled with superstition (unreal) and oppression (quite real). He grew very close to those he served, the charming residents of the Emerald Isle. The shamrock is said to have been the way Patrick demonstrated the concept of the Holy Trinity—three persons in one God. So certainly he’d have no issue with folks wearing shamrocks in his honor, nor in the “wearin’ o’ the green” which is meant to celebrate the beauty of Ireland.

But poor St. Patrick would not be happy that folks use his holiday to turn green from the drink instead of just wearing the color! In Ireland this was a holy day, and the immigrants lonely for home brought it here. Now, like Mardi Gras, which was rooted in faith and evolved into what it is now, it is not just the Irish who make merry.

But March 17 is still a great day to enjoy the coming spring, the longer days, and the warmth of friends and family! Perhaps this Friday we can pray along with Patrick some of the beautiful words of his “Lorica: I arise today through the strength of heaven; Light of the sun, Splendor of fire; Speed of lightening, Swiftness of the wind, Depth of the sea, Stability of the earth, Firmness of the rock . . . Christ shield me today.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

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