|Image taken from a video at History.com|
On this day in 461 A.D., the former slave of an obscure king died in the town of Saul, Ireland.
This particular slave was a Roman citizen who was born in Britain. He was snatched up at the age of sixteen from the estate of his wealthy family by people who have been variously described as "Irish marauders," pirates, or raiders, and was carted off to Ireland where he was sold to the above guy I have decided to call "King O'Bscure I."
He was put to work as a swineherd and probably did a fine job at that dirty task until he decided to sneak away six years later. He fled to France, had a dream about converting all the heathens back in Ireland to Christianity, became a Catholic monk, and later returned to his native land to be reunited with his family (not necessarily in that order). Anyway, he followed his dream and ended up back in Ireland as a missionary where he successfully converted the people until he almost ran out of people to convert.
Later, some people said he drove all of the snakes out of the country (for reasons unknown) and did a lot of other fantastical things, and he probably even did some of them. But like the above story, nobody knows for sure how much is true and how much was concocted while having "one too many" in celebration of the stories they were making up. It seems there are as many stories as there are storytellers. But enough of it is true that this former slave and missionary is beloved by Christians and others to this very day.
His name was Patrick and they made him a saint, named a parade after him, and used him as an excuse to engage in general revelry while pretending to be Irish even if they weren't. I've done it myself; it's tons of fun.
In the early days of the celebration, most Irish people would go to church and pray before returning home to have a feast in his memory. Today, most people just skip the prayer and get right to the corned beef and cabbage.
But I suggest they return to the earlier custom because there is a lady in Massachusetts who is in need of prayer. She's an elementary school principal who, along with her politically correct friends, has decided to rename St. Patrick's Day as "O'Green Day" in order to teach children to avoid any religious connection to this popular holiday. It seems she also wants the celebration to be "inclusive" even though everyone who wants to be included has already included themselves.
You see, she needs a new job even though she doesn't know it. I suggest we pray for her immediate transfer to a job she might handle better, perhaps at Walmart, as a greeter.