Happy Saint Patrick’s Day, 2019. This holiday, which many celebrate by wearing green, pinching those who don’t, drinking at parties and attending parades or other ceremonies, comes to us from the day, March 17th (461 AD) we believe a man named Patrick, a 5th-century Romano-British Christian missionary and bishop in Ireland, passed away in Downpatrick.
He apparantly used only the one name, Patricius (father of citizens), but had other names based on what he did and how he was known; He was also called Magonus (famous), Succetus (god of war), Cothirthiacus (serving 4 houses of Druids).
St. Patrick is credited with converting the pagan Irish to Christianity. His efforts against the druids eventually turned into an allegory in which he drove “snakes” out of Ireland, but Ireland never had any snakes because it was too cold for these animals.
Ireland is not the only place in the world without snakes – there are no native species of snakes to be found in Iceland, Greenland, Hawaii, New Zealand, parts of Canada, northern Russia, or, not surprisingly, Antarctica . . . – Irish Central
What do Shamrocks, three leaf clovers, have to do with Saint Patrick? According some, this symbol of Ireland since the 18th century comes from St Patrick’s use of the shamrock to convert the Irish to Christianity, with the three leaves of the plant being used to explain the Holy Trinity – the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
What of Leprechauns? How do they relate to St Patrick? Good question… both are strongly Irish and that may just be the only connection necessary.
Irish mythology is full of good and evil spirits and characters. But, there is an in-between area of beings that are neither all good, nor all bad; sort of like us humans. They are balanced between the two, sometimes being kind and generous, and sometimes being petty and mean.
One such being is the Leprechaun.
It is interesting to know that Leprechauns once wore red instead of green. They also had different names in different places.
The Northern Leprechaun or Logheryman wore a “military red coat and white breeches, with a broad-brimmed, high, pointed hat, on which he would sometimes stand upside down”. – Wikipedia
In different country districts the Leprechawn has different names. In the northern counties he is the Logheryman; in Tipperary, he is the Lurigadawne; in Kerry, the Luricawne; in Monaghan, the Cluricawne. The dress also varies. The Logheryman wears the uniform of some British infantry regiments, a red coat and white breeches, but instead of a cap, he wears a broad-brimmed, high, pointed hat. – AlbanyKid
Leprechauns average about three feet in height according to Irish folklore … Prior to the 20th century, leprechauns were depicted wearing red, not green.
The legend of the Irish little people may come from real settlers of short stature to Ireland in it’s history:
The Tuatha de Danann, the people of the Goddess Danu, were one of the great ancient tribes of Ireland. The important manuscript ‘The Annals of the Four Masters’, records that they ruled Ireland from 1897 B.C. to 1700 B.C. They became the ‘little people’ of Ireland and gave rise to the leprechaun legend. – Link
Tuatha Dé Danann in Irish mythology, the members of an ancient race said to have inhabited Ireland before the historical Irish. Formerly believed to have been a real people, they are credited with the possession of magical powers and great wisdom. – Encyclopedia
Who were the Druids and how and why did Patrick drive them out?
There are, as far as I can tell in 2019, two major camps with very different views of the Druids. One sympathetic site I found says the Druids were Bards and teachers who valued health, community service, working with high standards, truth and that they felt all life is sacred. They were against wars. They were singers whose stories kept knowledge of history alive.
Instead of hearing the teachings and advice of the Druids, the people began to hear the teachings of Rome. Because the Druids were the only ones who were taught to remember the history, with the Druids dead and their influence broken, the history was forgot …. for the killing of thousands of innocent people, Patrick was made a Saint by his church.
Another site says much the opposite, that the Druids were a ruthless wretched bunch who practiced cannibalism and human sacrifices on a mass scale.
Recent evidence that Druids committed cannibalism and ritual human sacrifice perhaps on a massive scale add weight to ancient Roman accounts of Druidic savagery, archaeologists say.
via – NatGeo
Today, Christians assert that St. Patrick only banished a sacrificial Druid religion, an expulsion symbolically represented by the banishment of snakes. Pagans, on the other hand, claim that St. Patrick forced Christian conversion with the threat of violence, and actually killed many Druid priests who refused to convert.
Common between these views is that there was a war and Christians won over the Druid religion in Ireland. Today, we still celebrate the leader of the Christian effort who was made a Saint. Well, not exactly, but he made the list of saints anyway:
Enjoy the day with some nice safe peaceful fun.