Why Is St. Patrick’s Day a Big Deal?

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The Catholic Geeks can tell you!

Their opening:
There are a few days of the year based around Catholic holidays that have become heavily secularized. Christmas, of course, is the big offender in many eyes, and every year we have reports from the tinsel-choked and eggnog-spilled trenches of the “War on Christmas.” To a lesser extent, the same is true of Easter, while it seems like fewer and fewer people know who St. Valentine even is. With that, it’s probably no surprise that St. Patrick’s Day is has just become a day to celebrate being Irish.

But why? Why do we make such a big deal out of this day in the United States, to the point that some bishops offer special Lenten dispensations, even when (as it does this year) it falls on a Friday? St. Patrick’s Day isn’t even a big deal in Ireland, not compared to how we celebrate it in the United States. And corned beef isn’t even an Irish dish!

The answer is both simple and complex, and somewhat contradictory. No, it’s not actually an Irish day; but it’s rooted in being Irish. It’s a day steeped in Catholicism, and yet not in worship. And it’s a day that’s both very American and not at all, at the same time.

Go read the rest– and please share it around to all the people sniffing and sneering about horrible bad evil wrong selfish weak and probably, they imply, sinful it is that some people want to celebrate Saint Patrick’s day, including corned beef.  Not even authentically Irish!  (Psssst– neither is Pat!)

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  1. For the first time in many years, I quietly celebrated (all day listened to Irish music, prayed for and thought of all those who went before me who loved me so much). I sat up and watched “The Quiet Man” thinking all the time how much Mother and Father loved it – lovely caricature that it is. More than once I prayed, “God bless John Wayne.” And, “God bless John Ford.”

    In my opinion and experience, the Irish are a people characterized by their plethora of love for family, country, and heritage; and their capacity for suffering, ” And Ireland, long a province, be a nation once again.” From “The Boys of Wexford,” “. . . Fought with heart and hand to burst in twain the galling chain and free our native land . . . ” I compare it to Washington and the Continentals in the darkest days of The American Revolution.

    Importantly, in the 1800’s the Irish came here (many starving and destitute) and were abused, vilified (Irish need not apply) and exploited. They somehow managed not to hate though they were hated. Reader, let that sink in. Their descendants are among the best-assimilated, best-educated, most successful of Americans.

    I’m old enough to remember when the NYC Parade was about honoring St. Patrick, Irish culture (whatever that is), “England Out Of Ireland,” and the Faith. Today, I can walk into a saloon in Woodside, Queens or Woodlawn, the Bronx and think I am in Dublin. I could go to Gaelic Park, in the Bronx, and see a hurling or Irish football game and hear hundreds of Irish accents. There have to be 600 pipe bands and similar numbers of Irish step-dance schools.

    Now, some cranks use St. Patrick to advertise/promulgate anti-Catholic (in the “antichrist” sense) memes like Irish LGBT (Liberty, Guns, Booze, Trump?). Apparently, the Boston parade is not allowing to peddle their cause a group named “Veterans For Peace.” I doubt if they’re allowing “Veterans For Victory” to advertise, either.

    Despite the dispensation, we had planned to observe the Lenten Friday discipline. But, our youngest sons (around lunch time) asked if we were. We ran out, bought the fixings, and made the corned beef and cabbage. Why should I not give him (and his fiancée – they are completing their pre-Cana preps) that which was given to me?

  2. For decades, my mother was led to believe – as a McLuckie – that she was Irish, not Scot. Well, that wasn’t the case. The McLuckies are a sept family of the grand and noble Clan Lamont. However, the missus has Irish heritage – proven by a DNA test – so my sons have Irish blood in them. For a long time, Spain granted citizenship to any Irish who could make it to Spain, most certainly due to the shared Catholic faith of both nations. May they both become Catholic again.

  3. Penguins Fan, your comment on the Spanish – Irish link might explain why Costello and Kinsella, Irish surnames, look Spanish. Perhaps sailors from wrecked Armada ships made it ashore the Irish coast and are the source of the Black Irish?
    In our little mission Father arranged a buffet lunch of corned beef and cabbage with soda bread prior to the info lecture on caregiving and caregivers and necessary forms. “Aging gracefully for mature adults”.
    Though there’s no Irish on either side of our families we too watched a series of films on TCM including the classics The Informer and The Quiet Man.

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