Saints, Shamrocks and the Blarney Stone

March 15, 2017

St. Patrick’s Day is fast approaching and for many of us thanks to centuries of tradition, we will be, on the lash enjoying a green pint of ale. If we’re lucky we might get a snog even if it’s just for good old fashioned luck.

 

Maewyn Succat - Father of the Citizens 

Maewyn Succat, the man that eventually went on to be declared St. Patrick in the 12th century was born in Great Britain. Rumour has it that he was kidnapped by Irish pirates when he was a young boy of 14 then forced into slavery as a shepherd. During the 6 years he was held as a slave, he turned to religion which gave him hope and strength. After his escape and return to Britain, Patrick studied for priesthood. He later returned to Ireland as a Christian missionary. It was Patrick’s use of the shamrock to help teach the Holy Trinity that helped him eventually convert all of Ireland.

 

The Luck of the Irish

You might be surprised to learn that the phrase, “the luck of the Irish” is a derogatory statement that Americans used when referring to anyone Irish that became successful. This started because of some famous Irish miners in the 19th century. Of course, the Irish immigrants that fled their homeland to try and forge a new life without their family, luck had nothing to do with it. For those that worked so hard to overcome all obstacles, success was earned with a heavy price of sacrifice. 

 

Persuasive Eloquence

If you are looking to get the gift of gab, then you best go off to Ireland to kiss the Blarney Stone where it’s said you will be gifted with eloquent persuasion; the gift of gab.

 

There have been about a half a dozen theories surrounding the Blarney Stone and its origins. The Blarney Castle was built around 1446. But in 2014 a group of geologists in Glasgow determined that the famous rock was in fact 330-million-year-old limestone local to the south of Ireland. 

 

4 More Fun Things About March 17

  • New York has the largest St. Patrick’s Day Parade with no floats or cars since 1762 there have been over 250,000 people marching in the annual parade. 

  • Chicago runs green – since 1962 the Chicago River takes in 40 tons of green dye to get it to the right shade of green for the festivities.

  • No longer dry, as a religious holiday even the pubs in Ireland were closed until 1970 when it was declared a national holiday allowing the celebrations to really begin.

  • Fort McLeod, Alberta was predominantly Irish immigrant ranchers that settled from Ireland in the 1870’s.

 

There you have it, a few interesting perhaps unknown tidbits about why we celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day. 

 

 

Here at Aspen Crossing, We Celebrate our Railway Ties. So, let’s raise a toast to Saint Patrick...

 

 Champagne Brunch, Ales on Rails and Wine & Cheese

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