Friday, March 09, 2012

Going Green

In a few days, we pay homage to Saint Patrick, when we don our green and lift our mugs to celebrate the life of the patron saint of Ireland.

Most of what we know about Saint Patrick may stem from his recorded works: the Confessio, a spiritual autobiography, and Epistola, a social and religious commentary on the British treatment of Irish Christians. Both works are included in Patrick, the pilgrim apostle of Ireland. However, he is probably most known for his rumored banishment of snakes in Ireland. Though, Ireland probably never had snakes due to its separation from the rest of the European continent at the end of the Ice Age. However, in many pagan religions, the serpent symbol was used in many forms of worship. “Driving snakes out of Ireland” was perhaps more symbolic than literal, as Saint Patrick is also credited with abolishing pagan rites. Ireland’s national apostle also used the shamrock as an illustration for presenting the Gospel and explaining the Holy Trinity.

Today, Saint Patrick’s Day is associated with everything Irish and anything green, gold, shamrocks, luck, rainbows, and the ever illusive leprechaun. So if you’re not busy counting your lucky charms or marveling over double rainbows, you might find gold with these reads:

A Brief History of Ireland by Paul F. State
Saint Patrick by Jonathan Rogers
St. Patrick of Ireland: A Biography by Philip Freeman
The Wisdom of St. Patrick: Inspirations from the Patron Saint of Ireland by Greg Tobin

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