Celebrate the Real St. Patrick

Thomas Griffin 3/17/23 (For The Federalist)

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Excerpt: “Few Catholic Saints have been woven into the fabric of American culture like St. Patrick. In some ways, his importance and reasons for sainthood have been domesticated, but by remembering and rediscovering the hallmark saint we can aid the American project and stay true to what it means to celebrate his life every St. Patrick’s Day.

Way too often, the Catholic Church is viewed as out-of-touch for its fairy tales in the Bible or superstitious for its belief that the Eucharist is the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. However, it is society that has accepted false understandings of what it means to remember St. Patrick. Orthodoxy, and sanity for that matter, mean we stay rooted in the truth. Unveiling the facts about this tremendous man of history is important when considering what has become of his celebration.

With the influx of Irish immigrants over the centuries to the United States it became common for celebrations to arise on St. Patrick’s feast day. Boston had its first parade in 1737 and New York City had its first parade in 1762. These were days filled with championing Irish culture and customs, and of course, having some nice beer.

Now, St. Patrick’s Day has become an excuse for Irish families, and many others, to light up their homes and buy shamrock paraphernalia. The month of March has become green across the nation (even though blue was the original color associated with St. Patrick). It has also become inebriated.

St. Patrick’s Day is now an excuse for drunkenness, where grown men and women start drinking at 11:00 am as they did in college. We all know, deep inside, that there has to be more to this day than having drinks and eating corned beef. So, what is the reason for St. Patrick’s Day?

St. Patrick was born in Britain in the late 4th century and was kidnapped at the age of 16 and enslaved in Ireland. Patrick’s slavery was real and his sufferings were intense. He was in a different country, against his will, and he was all alone. In his trials, he turned to God.

“God watched over me before I knew him, and before I learned sense or even distinguished between good and evil, and he protected me, and consoled me as a father would his son,” he writes in “The Confession of St. Patrick.”

He later escaped slavery, returned to Britain, and found himself back in Ireland to share the gospel. Through his preaching, witness, and life he was responsible for creating schools, monasteries, and churches all over Ireland. The focus of his life was serving God and aiding others in seeing the importance of the person of Jesus Christ for their practical lives.”

Read the Full Article HERE

Thomas Griffin is the chairperson of the religion department at a Catholic high school on Long Island where he lives with his wife and two sons. He has a masters degree in theology and is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Empty Tomb Project: The Magazine.

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