Articles - St. Patrick's Day

St. Patrick's Day
By Lee Ann Cornell

leeann

Many a story has been written about Saint Patrick. Legend be that he drove all the snakes out of Ireland. Legend also has it that inside a small cave, on the Isle of Lough Dreg, Saint Patrick had scenes of torment painted to depict purgatory. These frightful images were created so people could enter the cave and partake in a nine day fasting ritual atoning for their sins to avoid purgatory after death. It has been said that by orders of the Pope the cave was sealed in the year 497 AD on Saint Patrick's Day.

Patrick was born in Britain on the 17th of March around the year 385 AD. At the age of 16 Patrick was captured by pirates and sold into slavery in Ireland. Six years later he escaped into France where he began his studies for the priesthood.

In 432 AD Patrick returned to Ireland as a missionary. He brought with him Latin literature and the Roman alphabet. Patrick converted the Irish people to Christianity. The Irish monasteries served as great learning centers after his death.

Saint Patrick's Day is a religious holiday in Ireland. It is a time of family gatherings and religious services. People of the Catholic faith wear shamrocks and the color green on this day (those of the Protestant faith wear the color orange) because Saint Patrick used the three green leaves on the shamrock to explain the concept of the Holy Trinity to the Irish people. Therefore the Shamrock became the symbol of the Holy Trinity. Shamrock means threeleaved and the plant that is most referred to as a shamrock is the white clover.

It is interesting to note that the color green is associated with the Heart Chakra or heart center. The heart center is located in the middle of the chest and is the Kingdom of God in the Kabalistic Cross. God is love and to first find love we must search within our hearts! Green is the color of compassion, understanding, harmony, success and prosperity. Peace be with you on this day