Green Beer Day

OK, not really. For some this is a day to honor one’s Irish ancestry and heritage, and to eat corned beef and cabbage and potatoes, drink good beer (Guinness, Harp, et al), listen to Irish music, and honor the efforts of an early Christian missionary who is associated with Ireland although he is a Briton. If you are a politician in Boston or New York City, you’d better be seen at an Irish event, or your absence Will Be Noted.

Yes, this is an Orthodox icon of an Irish saint from Britain. Next question?

What a lot of Americans think St. Patrick’s day is about.

Patrick was one of many who went to Ireland to bring Christianity, and succeeded mightily after some difficulties.

Illumination from modern manuscript of St. Patrick’s prayer called “The Deer’s Cry.”

I borrowed part of “St. Patrick’s Breastplate” in Shadows and Anguish. Better known is Madeline L’Engle’s translation from A Swiftly Tilting Planet: “I Meg at this fateful hour/Call on Heaven with its power/ The Snow with its whiteness/The sun with its brightness/The lightning with its rapid path/The winds with their swiftness along their path…” until the final line “All these I place/ With G-d’s almighty help and grace/Between myself and the powers of Darkness.” Variations on the prayer appear throughout the novel and shape the path of Charles Murry and the Pegasus Gaudior. As with much Celtic poetry, the nature imagery weaves a powerful pattern. The repetitions in The Deer’s Cry do something similar, forming a shielding incantation.

The Deer`s Cry

I arise today
Through the strength of heaven;
Light of the sun, Splendor of fire,
Speed of lightning, Swiftness of the wind,
Depth of the sea, Stability of the earth,
Firmness of the rock.

I arise today
Through God’s strength to pilot me;
God’s might to uphold me, God’s wisdom to guide me,
God’s eye to look before me, God’s ear to hear me,
God’s word to speak for me, God’s hand to guard me,
God’s way to lie before me, God’s shield to protect me,
God’s hosts to save me, Afar and anear,
Alone or in a mulitude.

Christ shield me today
Against wounding,
Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down,
Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in the eye that sees me,
Christ in the ear that hears me.

I arise today
Through the mighty strength
Of the Lord of creation.

Taken from: http://www.irishchaplaincyparis.fr/2013/03/the-deers-cry-a-hymn-by-st-patrick/

So as you hoist a beer, or eat corned beef and other Irish food (unless you are observing the feast on Sunday due to Lent), I’d ask that you offer up a kind thought for those trying to preserve civilization and to spread mercy in harsh places, if you are so inclined.

And do not drink until you see the snakes St. Patrick chased out of Ireland. Just don’t.

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14 thoughts on “Green Beer Day

  1. Nice history lesson, thanks! We did the Irish dinner last night… The question is, does an Irish coffee count as dessert??? 🙂

  2. Since you are giving out history lessons, where did the get pinched if you aren’t wearing green originate?

      • So the pumpkin bearded guy in green above is either really confused, or simply covering all his bases?

        • I actually had a teacher try to make me back down because I was wearing green on Saint Pat’s… she was dressed head to toe in orange, and didn’t expect me to know what that meant, or why those horrible terrorists in Ireland were angry.

      • It constantly amazes me that so many people have not a clue WHY there were terrorists in Ireland. Honestly it surprises me much less when people have never heard of terrorism in the British Isles, than those who know all about the actions, but have never gave the slightest thought to what provoked those actions, or what those actions were attempting to accomplish.

        • What confuses me is that it’s usually the same folks who won’t say that the Jihadis are wrong, because they’re justified…. while I’m standing here saying the terrorists in Ireland were wrong, but knowing the reasons.

  3. an Orthodox icon of an Irish saint from Britain

    …who is more important in America than in Ireland. 😀
    When my mom was a kid, the only parade bigger than Saint Patrick’s was the 4th of July– most of the town was even from the same county back in Ireland, although they were quite friendly. This was the same place my grandfather had to invite his employer and a supervisor into the church’s basement to show them it was not full of weapons to help the Pope take over America as soon as JFK was elected… the outreach of Saint Pat’s can’t be discounted.

    Plus, it’s a PARTY!

    • Serious party. Although I really got tired of the college idiots who drank themselves into a stupor. Not that this didn’t happen on a regular basis, but they seemed to start earlier on St. Patrick’s Day.

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