Although Christmas and Easter are probably the most well known and celebrated Catholic holidays, there has always been a special place in everyone’s heart for St. Patrick’s Day. St. Patrick’s Day originally began due to St. Patrick, a man who lived during the 5th century. He was born into a wealthy Romano-British family and was kidnapped at the age of 16 by Irish raiders and held captive as a slave in Ireland. As the story goes, Patrick was told by God in a dream to escape to the coast and board a ship back to Britain. Upon his arrival to Britain he joined the Church and began to study to be a priest. He was eventually called back to Ireland to Christianize the Irish, using the shamrock as a symbol and explanation of the Holy Trinity. St. Patrick’s life has become fully ingrained in the Irish culture and he is well known as the champion of Irish Christianity.
Even though St. Patrick’s Day is not yet a legal holiday in the United States, it is still celebrated all over the country. Although it is an incredibly prominent holiday in Ireland, it is also celebrated all over the world in countries like Japan, Singapore and Russia. There is the popular notion that “everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day,” proclaiming it a day of unity and celebrating together as a community whether or not you are of Irish descent or a practicing Catholic. Most people celebrate this holiday with copious amounts of alcohol, parades, wearing green, feasting, and simply enjoying life. In fact, this year St. Patrick’s Day happens to fall on a Saturday which is probably causing a sigh of relief for everyone. For Catholics, it is a special day in which Lenten obligations go out the window and celebration is of the utmost importance.
So whether or not you’re Irish or Catholic, find a festival or parade in your town and take St. Patrick’s Day as a much needed blessing. As people, we are consumed by work and worries, and this holiday is a good excuse to take a break, sit back, and enjoy one of the many good things in life: green beer.