Category Archives: St. Patrick’s Day

Happy St. Paddy’s Day!

On the Hill of Slane ©Cindy Thomson

On the Hill of Slane ©Cindy Thomson

Remembering the Patron Saint

Yes, there are three patron saints of Ireland. You’ve probably heard me say that before: St. Patrick, St. Brigid, and St. Columba. But most people associate St. Patrick with Ireland, and legends extoll his bravery and evangelical spirit. He is credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland, and while he was not the first Christian there—pockets of Christianity may have existed on the island for decades prior to Patrick’s arrival—he probably did the most to give the religion a firm stronghold. If you’d like a short history on Patrick and all the ancient Irish saints, please pick up a copy of my book, The Roots of Irish Wisdom.

One Important Lesson

Why St. Patrick's own words should be read today. Click To TweetIf you don’t learn anything else about the saint, this one lesson is enough. From his own words in his Confession:

…daily I expect to be murdered or reduced to slavery if the occasion arises.

Why? Because after Patrick was enslaved in Ireland, escaped back to Britain, and educated in the religious order as a bishop, he returned to Ireland, the place of his captivity. Why? Because in a dream an angel came to him and delivered a letter. The letter said, “The Voice of the Irish.” And he heard the Irish people calling to him, “Come, holy boy, and walk among us again.” He felt he had to go. Those people needed the God he knew.

“But I fear nothing because of the promise of Heaven; for I have cast myself into the hand of Almighty God, who reigns everywhere…

Oh, to have such faith and trust!

Following Patrick’s Footsteps

From The Roots of Irish Wisdom: “It was in Saul that Patrick is said to have first preached in Ireland. At the summit of nearby Slieve Patrick stands a statue of the saint erected in the 1930’s. Visitors can make a pilgrimage there…A reconstructed church with round tower stands in Saul on the site where it is believed Patrick founded a church in a barn. (See picture below.)

When I went to Ireland I visited many of the sites associated with St. Patrick. Saul is my favorite, a thin place where you can sense the worship of so many souls who were there before you.

Church at Saul

But you do not have to go to Ireland to follow Patrick’s way, although I hope you do. Reading his words, hearing his story, and thinking about your own legacy and how it can be shared is all that is necessary. To read his Confession: go here. To read the other writing we know is from his hand, go here.

A Blessing to Take With You

As he brought new faith to Ireland so may he bring to you a touch of Irish happiness in everything you do; and like the good St. Patrick, may your home and life be blessed, with all God’s special favors which make you happiest.

Irish shamrock photo by Genese Blomquist Sweeney

Irish shamrock photo by Genese Blomquist Sweeney

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!!!

Royce Bair Ross Castle, Killarney, Ireland - an ornate 1913 St Patrick's Day greeting card illustration

Royce Bair
Ross Castle, Killarney, Ireland – an ornate 1913 St Patrick’s Day greeting card illustration

From the man himself:

I cannot keep silent, nor would it be proper, so many favors and graces has the Lord deigned to bestow on me in the land of my captivity. For after chastisement from God, and recognizing him, our way to repay him is to exalt him and confess his wonders before every nation under heaven.

From St. Patrick’s Confession

St. Patrick’s Day Eve!

St. Patrick Hill of SlaneHow to Celebrate?

It’s a question I usually ask myself when the day rolls around. How about you? Some people (in America) go to an annual parade, pancake breakfast, listen to live music at an Irish restaurant or pub. All good choices. All things I’ve done in the past.

Some use it as an excuse to get absolutely soused. I don’t recommend that. Drunkenness has nothing to do with the patron saint of Ireland, and can even be viewed as cultural stereotyping. I know we’re in the season of Donald Trump anti-pc rhetoric, but still…

Just How Should I Celebrate St. Patrick's Day, anyway? Click To Tweet

What St. Patrick’s Day Isn’t

Its not about leprechauns, green beer, kissing people who aren’t really Irish…It’s not “Irish I Were Drunk Day.” (Please, throw away that t-shirt!) It also is not St. Patty’s Day. Maybe there is a female saint named Patty with the same day, but probably not. If you must use the shortened version, and I personally have no problem with that, use Paddy, not Patty.

What St. Patrick’s Day Is

I’ve posted lots of thoughts on this:

Here with a guest post

And here

Here

And here

My Favorite Thing to Do On St. Patrick’s Day

Put on some Irish music, maybe Cherish the Ladies, We 3 Banjo, Natalie McMaster. Cook up some Irish stew (here’s a good recipe) and READ! There are some great Irish books out there, either by Irish authors or about Ireland. Of course, I hope you’ll read mine, but leave me some recommendations in the comments, okay? And enjoy!

*Looking for some non American recipes for St. Patrick’s Day? Check out my board on Pinterest.

Brigid of Ireland by Cindy Thomson, ebook

Ebook, Book One, Daughters of Ireland

Princes of Ireland by Edward Rutherford, Irish books Cindy ThomsonHow the Irish Saved Civilization, top Irish books Cindy ThomsonThe Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry/Cindy Thomson Irish books

In Search of Ancient Ireland by McCaffrey and Eaton/Cindy Thomson Irish books

10 Irish Books: Reading Your Way Through St. Patrick’s Day

10 Irish Books for St. Patrick's Day! Click To Tweet

About St. Patrick

There are many history books and some fiction choices. If you really want to know the man, start with his writings. Two exist: St. Patrick’s Confession

Book of Armagh page

A facsimile page from the Book of Armagh where St. Patrick’s Confession is found. Held at Trinity College in Dublin

and his Letters to the Soldiers of Coroticus. The letter is shorter and meant as an excommunication for Coroticus whose men struck down new converts. The Confession is much longer and is a bit of a biography where we learn about the man.

“I did not, indeed, know the true God; and I was taken into captivity in Ireland with many thousands of people, according to our deserts, for quite drawn away from God, we did not keep his precepts.”

But of course his story does not end there. Here are some reading suggestions, in no particular order.

Fiction About St. Patrick

I read this many years ago.

1. Patrick, Son of Ireland by Stephen R. LawheadPatrick by Stephen Lawed

 

I haven’t found much out there. If you know of any St. Patrick’s novels, please leave them in the comments.

2. Patrick, Patron Saint of Ireland by Tomie DePaola

Patrick post by Cindy Thomson

Learn About Ireland

Of course you can read many books about leprechauns, if you choose. But if you are like me and want more history, here some suggestions.

3. Celtic Wisdom, Treasures From Ireland by Cindy Thomson

Celtic Wisdom by Cindy Thomson

Even though it’s short, I’m still proud of the early history squeezed into these page with color photographs. If you’d like an autographed copy, let me know. Click on the picture.

 

About Ireland in General

4. Brigid of Ireland by Cindy Thomson

Brigid of Ireland by Cindy Thomson

Brigid of Ireland by Cindy Thomson, ebookDid you know there are three patron saints of Ireland? (If you’ve read Celtic Wisdom, you do know that!) I still have print copies of Brigid of Ireland, or you can get one on your Kindle (or the Kindle app on your computer) for just a few bucks.

But there are plenty more choices than just my books!

5. How The Irish Saved Civilization by Thomas Cahill

 

How the Irish Saved Civilization, top Irish books Cindy Thomson

 

A condensed, but still useful, overview of Irish history according to the influence of the Christian monks.

6. Ireland, a Novel, by Frank Delaney

Ireland by Frank Delaney, Irish books Cindy Thomson

Featuring a seanchai, said to be the last of the itinerant storytellers, I really enjoyed this one.

7. Princes of Ireland by Edward Rutherford

 Princes of Ireland by Edward Rutherford, Irish books Cindy Thomson

Rutherford writes Sagas, spanning generations of characters. No one offers so much history in a  500 or so pages like he does.

8. The Tea House on Mulberry Street by Sharon Owens

The Tea House by Sharon Owens, Irish Books Cindy Thomson

For a different pace and a great glimpse into modern Ireland. Funny and entertaining. Owens has others as well.

9. The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry

The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry/Cindy Thomson Irish books

Barry is a gifted writer so you should check out all his books. I enjoy these types of stories where an elderly character tells about her past.

10. In Search of Ancient Ireland by Carmel McCaffrey and Leo Eaton, companion to the PBS Series

In Search of Ancient Ireland by McCaffrey and Eaton/Cindy Thomson Irish books

Truly, if you want to know about Ancient Ireland, read this book. Excellent!

 

Of course there are many more. What Irish books would you recommend for St. Patrick’s Day reading?

Gifts for St. Paddy’s Day!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! To celebrate, I would much rather talk about the country and its people than drink in a bar that Americans call an Irish pub. If you feel the same way, or even if you don’t–I don’t mind–I’ve got some things to brighten your day.

Throughout the day I plan to share some of my favorite photographs from Ireland over on my Facebook page. You can find it here: www.facebook.com/cindyswriting (and don’t forget to click the like the button while you’re there.)

And here’s something fun! My friend Corey over at the Irish Fireside is sharing a free ebook of sites to see in Ireland. If you’re not already, you really should be following the Irish Fireside!

Download it at http://irishfireside.com/remarkable/