|Ever wonder where the term Luck 'o the Irish, or Irish Luck, came from? If so, then read on
for a little history/legend about Saint Patrick's Day and Irish Luck.
The whole thing started with Saint Patrick. Actually, Saint Patrick was not Irish. He was born
around 373 A.D. in either Scotland (near the town of Dumbarton) or in Roman Britain (the
Romans left Britain in 410 A.D.). His real name is believed to be Maewyn Succat (he took
on Patrick, or Patricus, after he became a priest). He was kidnapped at the age of 16 and
sold into slavery in Ireland. During his 6-year captivity (he worked as a shepherd), he began
to have religious visions.
He finally escaped (after voices in one of his visions told him where he could find a
getaway ship) and went to France, where he became a priest (and later a bishop). When
he was about 60 years old, Saint Patrick returned to Ireland to spread the Christian word.
It's said that Patrick had an unusually winning personality, and that helped him win
Shamrock (Irish Seamrog or Seamroy for "little clover") is the common name for any of
several trifoliate (3 leaf) clovers native to Ireland. The shamrock was originally chosen as
the national emblem of Ireland because of the legend that Saint Patrick used the trefoil
plant to illustrate the doctrine of the Holy Trinity. Most shamrocks, particularly the small-
leaved white clover, have been considered by the Irish as good-luck symbols since
earliest times. Before the Christian era it was a sacred plant among the Druids of Ireland
because its leaves formed a triad.
Throughout history, the number three is one of the numbers considered special or magical.
This superstition has persisted in modern times among people of many nationalities. In the
modern Western World, the rare finding of a four leaf clover is said to double one's good
The trefoil in Arabia is called Shamrakh and was sacred in Iran as an emblem of the Persian
triads. As the number three was sacred in the Celtic and other religions, it is thought that
Saint Patrick must have considered this in choosing the three leafed plant to demonstrate
the three-in-one nature of the Christian Trinity of the Father, the Son and The Holy Spirit.
A group of his followers came to him and admitted it was difficult for them to believe in
the Holy Trinity. Saint Patrick thought for a moment. He stooped down and plucked a leaf
from the Shamrock growing at his feet. He held it before them and said, "Behold the living
example of the Three-in-One." From that day forward, the Shamrock has been revered
The mystique of the Shamrock (white clover plant) continues today since there is not a
clover plant that produces four leaflets. A fourth leaflet is a rare occurrence! One leaf is
for HOPE, the second for FAITH, the third for LOVE, and the fourth for LUCK! Having had a
bad time with Great Britain over the years, the Luck 'o the Irish, obviously is a misnomer. It
seems that Irish luck is strictly related to four leaf clovers.
Saint Patrick's Day is celebrated on March 17th, to honor and celebrate the death
anniversary of St. Patrick the patron saint of Ireland. St. Patrick's day is celebrated with
parades and marching bands. People eat corned beef, cabbage and Irish soda bread.
Some people sing and dance the Irish jig. The shamrock leaf is a symbol of St. Patrick and
Ireland. St. Patrick used a three leafed clover to explain the concept of the Trinity (father,
son and holy spirit). Many people wear green on this day. Green symbolises the color of
spring, Ireland and the shamrock. Ireland is called the "Emerald Isle” as it has lots of green
The Blarney stone
The Blarney stone is in the Irish village of Blarney in the wall of the Blarney castle. Legend
has it that kissing the stone gives person the ability to speak sweetly and convincingly.
Legend has it that Saint Patrick drove all the snakes out of Ireland -- that they all went into
the sea and drowned. Poor snakes. I don't know why he would want to do this, except that
the snake was a revered pagan symbol, and perhaps this was a figurative tale alluding to
the fact that he drove paganism out of Ireland. He was said to have done this by beating
a drum. He also made the soil fatal to all serpents who touched it. One day, there was a
stubborn snake that refused to leave. Saint Patrick constructed a box and tried to lure the
snake into it. The snake refused, stating that the box was too small. Saint Patrick told the
snake that it was big enough and to just give it a try. The snake agreed, just to prove that
the box was too small, and he entered the box. Saint Patrick immediately closed the lid on
the snake and threw the box, snake and all, into the ocean.
Leprechauns are also associated with Saint Patrick's Day, although I'm not sure why.
Leprechauns of legend are actually mean little creatures, with the exception of the Lucky
Charms guy. They were probably added later on to give card makers something cute to
put on their cards. A Leprechaun looks like a small, old man (about 2 feet tall), often
dressed like a shoemaker, with a cocked hat and a leather apron. According to legend,
Leprechauns are aloof and unfriendly, live alone, and pass the time making shoes. They
also possess a hidden pot of gold. Treasure hunters can often track down a leprechaun by
the sound of his shoemaker's hammer. If caught, he can be forced (with the threat of
bodily violence) to reveal the whereabouts of his treasure, but the captor must keep their
eyes on him every second. If the captor's eyes leave the Leprechaun (and he often tricks
them into looking away), he vanishes, and all hopes of finding the treasure are lost.
School children have started a little tradition of their own -- they pinch classmates who
don't wear green on Saint Patrick's Day. We promise not to pinch those who come to the
dance without their green.
St. Patrick's Day
Around a willow tree,
Pussy willows waking,
Longing to be free.
Colleens and shamrocks
And castles old and gray,
Put them all together
To make St. Patrick's Day
DOWNLOAD THE BOOK THE LEGEND OF ST PATRICK
click on thumbnail
Download the PDF Chronological Timeline of St Patrick
|St Patrick - there's no doubt in
anyone's mind that he existed
and has become the legend that
he is today. There are varying
accounts of this amazing man's
life, all pointing to the fact that
he was one extraordinary person.
Here we account one of the tales
of the Legend's life. Download
the FREE Book at the bottom of
this page. Enjoy!
|Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig oraibh!
Happy St. Patrick's Day To You All!
|St Patrick's Day
|St Patrick's Day
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