The Luck of the Irish: St Patricks Day

The feast day of Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, is held each year on 17 March. It commemorates the anniversary of St Patrick’s death on this day in 461. It is also a religious feast day.

St Patrick was born in Roman Britain in the late 4th century. He was kidnapped at the age of 16 and taken to Ireland as a slave. He escaped but returned in 432 to convert the Irish to Christianity. By his death, he had established many monasteries, churches, and schools.

Today all around the world, the Irish flag will fly high, Irish pubs will be busy in honour of St Pat. There will be lots of food, dancing and music, and a sea of green everywhere. As part of our own Irish heritage as a Mercy school, we also acknowledge John Therry, an Irish Catholic priest. Therry founded the first Catholic school in Australia in Parramatta, more than 200 years ago, and our Mercy sisters, who established Mercedes College, Perth in 1846, the first Mercy school in Australia.

What do we like about the Irish?

  • The luck of the Irish. Whether fact or fiction, we are always looking for the elusive four-leaved clover for that wee bit o’ Irish luck.
  • The Irish humour. The Irish are spontaneous and hardly overthink things, making their humour unique. It is what makes them so popular in crowds.
  • Those beautiful Irish names. While some of us can’t spell most of them, let alone pronounce them, I bet we wish we had an Irish name.
  • Their generosity. The Irish will buy you a ‘pint’ at the ‘pub’ (pronounced ‘poub)’, share a joke or story with you, before sending you on your merry way, captivated by their charisma.
  • The Irish know a thing or two about blessings and wise statements and proverbs.

What do we admire about them? 

  • They are fearless and will do anything for a laugh.
  • They are pleasant to be around, always up for a good time.
  • They are rowdy, but in a good way, and always welcoming. It’s no problem for a stranger to have a chat with a ‘random’ they meet on the bus.
  • The Irish are a loyal bunch; they have brought their culture to other parts of the world and kept their heritage alive.

So, if you suspect one of your neighbours or work colleagues of being Irish, in that case, you should isolate him or her immediately in a public house, ideally one with music and a decent menu featuring multiple potato dishes and then call the local police emergency number. Oh, and don’t forget to throw a keg of Guinness their way!

Come on, don’t we all wish we were Irish, if only for a day?

So, here’s wishing our Irish community: Lá Fhéile Pádraig sona duit. (Law ayla paw-drig suna dit). Have a go saying this to an Irish person today, it’s sure to make them smile. And as you wish them a happy St Patrick’s Day, remember whether you are Irish or not, everyone has a little luck o’ the Irish in them.

Jilly Landers | Director of Mission

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