Monday, March 16, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day Happy St. Patrick's Day

Happy St. Patrick's Day! The shamrock has come to be one symbol of St. Patrick's Day, along with the mythic Leprechaun. According to legend, St. Patrick used the shamrock, a three-leaved plant, to explain the Holy Trinity to the pre-Christian Irish. St. Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland, but he seems to have been adopted by the entire world. On this day, I am reminded of the Irish Blessing. Here is one version:

May you always have walls for the winds,
a roof for the rain, tea beside the fire,
laughter to cheer you, those you love near you,
and all your heart might desire.

I am currently reading the book Bless This Food, by Adrian Butash, a wonderful book that includes ancient and contemporary graces from different religions and places around the world. This book provides historic and contextual information about each prayer. I am not an especially religious person, but this is a fascinating window on different religions and cultures around the world. For example, I have learned about "The Selkirk Grace" which I learned from my Scottish grandparents many, many years ago.


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