Saturday, March 11, 2006

Snake Saturday

I apologize for the dearth of original content of late. (Well, NASCAR OSCAR was original LOL). Amazing how much time "real life" can eat up sometimes, huh? LOL

I have Irish heritage on both sides of my family. When I questioned my father once about it, he laughed and said, “Yeah, our ancestors lived in Ireland - until they threw them out!”

I never knew if he was kidding - LOL

Anyway, I looked up the History Channel explanation of St. Patrick’s Day, and thought I’d share.


What's not to love about a crazy old fart who is a storyteller, has hallucinations, and turns religious symbols on their ear? LOL!

Happy Snake Saturday to all!


The Snake
It has long been recounted that, during his mission in Ireland, St. Patrick once stood on a hilltop (which is now called Croagh Patrick) and with only a wooden staff by his side, banished all the snakes from Ireland.

In fact, the island nation was never home to any snakes. The "banishing of the snakes" was really a metaphor for the eradication of pagan ideology from Ireland and the triumph of Christianity. Within two hundred years of Patrick's arrival, Ireland was completely Christianized.

Who Was St. Patrick?
St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, is one of Christianity's most widely known figures. But for all his celebrity, his life remains somewhat of a mystery. Many of the stories traditionally associated with St. Patrick, including the famous account of his banishing all the snakes from Ireland, are false, the products of hundreds of years of exaggerated storytelling.

Taken Prisoner By Irish Raiders
It is known that St. Patrick was born in Britain to wealthy parents near the end of the fourth century. He is believed to have died on March 17, around 460 A.D. Although his father was a Christian deacon, it has been suggested that he probably took on the role because of tax incentives and there is no evidence that Patrick came from a particularly religious family. At the age of sixteen, Patrick was taken prisoner by a group of Irish raiders who were attacking his family's estate. They transported him to Ireland where he spent six years in captivity. (There is some dispute over where this captivity took place. Although many believe he was taken to live in Mount Slemish in County Antrim, it is more likely that he was held in County Mayo near Killala.) During this time, he worked as a shepherd, outdoors and away from people. Lonely and afraid, he turned to his religion for solace, becoming a devout Christian. (It is also believed that Patrick first began to dream of converting the Irish people to Christianity during his captivity.)

Guided By Visions
After more than six years as a prisoner, Patrick escaped. According to his writing, a voice—which he believed to be God's—spoke to him in a dream, telling him it was time to leave Ireland.

To do so, Patrick walked nearly 200 miles from County Mayo, where it is believed he was held, to the Irish coast. After escaping to Britain, Patrick reported that he experienced a second revelation—an angel in a dream tells him to return to Ireland as a missionary. Soon after, Patrick began religious training, a course of study that lasted more than fifteen years. After his ordination as a priest, he was sent to Ireland with a dual mission—to minister to Christians already living in Ireland and to begin to convert the Irish. (Interestingly, this mission contradicts the widely held notion that Patrick introduced Christianity to Ireland.)


Bonfires and Crosses
Familiar with the Irish language and culture, Patrick chose to incorporate traditional ritual into his lessons of Christianity instead of attempting to eradicate native Irish beliefs. For instance, he used bonfires to celebrate Easter since the Irish were used to honoring their gods with fire.

He also superimposed a sun, a powerful Irish symbol, onto the Christian cross to create what is now called a Celtic cross, so that veneration of the symbol would seem more natural to the Irish. (Although there were a small number of Christians on the island when Patrick arrived, most Irish practiced a nature-based pagan religion. The Irish culture centered around a rich tradition of oral legend and myth. When this is considered, it is no surprise that the story of Patrick's life became exaggerated over the centuries—spinning exciting tales to remember history has always been a part of the Irish way of life. )




11 Comments:

Blogger percys world said...

Well done marty.
the welsh are proud of you.lol
may all your dreams been lined with gold.
percy

11:21 AM  
Blogger OldHorsetailSnake said...

Well, that explains THAT, is all I can say. What snakes?

5:23 PM  
Blogger Hale McKay said...

Well done, lassie. Have ye any Irish in ye? Would ye like some? It would only be a wee bit, mind ye.

5:32 PM  
Blogger ME Strauss said...

Hi Marti,

I finally got around to updating the old blogroll. Thought I'd take it for a test drive to see how it works. I love the St. Pat's look and the information you have is sooo cool.

Happy ST P's Day.

liz

8:13 PM  
Blogger Miss Cellania said...

I'll be linking this for my holiday post!

5:52 AM  
Blogger g said...

FTS sent me. Nice story about St Patrick. Who knew about "snake saturday?"

10:29 AM  
Blogger Marti said...

Hello Percy! So nice to see you! Thank you - may all your dreams be golden as well!
***
Howdy Hoss! I’m not sure there is any explanation for either one of us - LOL!
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Hi Hale! Good one - LOL!
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Thank you Liz! I am honored to be placed on your blogroll!
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Awesome Miss Cellania! I will look forward to reading it!
***
Welcome G! I actually got the term “Snake Saturday” from a metro area event. Held the Saturday before St. Patrick's Day, the Snake Saturday Parade has come to be known as the best showcase of not-for-profit organizations in Kansas City.
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Thanks to FTS for selecting me as Spotlight Blog of the Week!
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Thanks to ALL who stop by! I deeply appreciate your visit, and am grateful that you took the time to comment! Please visit anytime!

11:34 AM  
Anonymous TSB said...

We are proud to have you as our spotlight blog this week. Thanks for the nice comments to my post.

I am Irish by injection only, and that seems to be enough...LOL

1:48 PM  
Blogger emaw_kc said...

Nice post, Marti. I just posted a (craptacular) pick from my camera phone from the Snake Saturday parade. Cheers.

6:19 PM  
Blogger Bar Bar A said...

Found you through FTS, great blog you have here! I still have relatives in good old Ireland!!! They like to drink and tell stories :)

7:07 PM  
Blogger michaelm said...

Last name Murphy, mother's maiden name O'Brien, grandmother's maiden name Flynn...
Though I'm adopted and know not my actual roots, I've always considered myself a mick at heart.
Informative post, Marti.
Kelly green, huh?
Nice.

~michaelm

8:29 PM  

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