March 13, 2006
Happy St. Patrick's Day   Why St. Patrick's Day?
Saint Patrick's Day has come to be associated with everything Irish: anything green and gold, shamrocks
and luck.  Most importantly, to those who celebrate its intended meaning, St. Patrick's Day is a traditional
day for spiritual renewal and offering prayers for missionaries worldwide.

So, why is it celebrated on March 17th?  One theory is that is the day that Saint Patrick died.

Saint Patrick is believed to have been born in the late fourth century, and is often confused with Palladius,
a bishop who was sent by Pope Celestine in 431 to be the first bishop to the Irish believers in Christ.
Saint Patrick was the patron saint and national apostle of Ireland who is credited with bringing Christianity
to Ireland.  Most of what is known about him comes from his two works, the Confessio, a spiritual
autobiography, and his Epistola, a denunciation of British mistreatment of Irish Christians.

Since the holiday began in Ireland, it is believed that as the Irish spread out around the world, they took with
them their history and celebrations.  The biggest observance of all is, of course, in Ireland. With the
exception of restaurants and pubs, almost all businesses close on March 17th.  Being a religious holiday
as well, many Irish attend mass, where March 17th is the traditional day for offering prayers for
missionaries worldwide before the serious celebrating begins.
In North American cities with a large Irish population, such as New York City and Toronto, St. Patrick's Day is a very big
deal.  Big cities and small towns alike celebrate with parades, "wearing of the green," music and songs, Irish food and drink,
and activities for kids such as crafts, coloring and games.  Some communities even go so far as to dye rivers or streams
green!  Oh, and lets not forget - beer!

From a true Irishman, I wish you all – Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
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