How a ‘Civilized’ Society Honors St. Patrick

In celebration of St. Patrick’s Day residents of South Boston called police because they were tired of those ‘celebrating’ the day peeing in their yards.

Yes. This is the St. Patrick’s Day of the 21st century; a day known for green and partying. Start as early as you are allowed, go as late as you can. Pee where you want, disrupt neighborhoods.

At the risk of spoiling the party, may I suggest that St. Patrick is rolling over in his grave, shaking his head in disbelief? Or perhaps he is more generous than I am. 

Early in the 17th century St. Patrick’s Day was declared an official Church feast day. St. Patrick is the man who brought the gospel message to Ireland. Many stories have been told about this saint, some of them true and others apocryphal, but history is quite confident about a couple of things.

1. He was not born in Ireland, but was captured at age 15 by Irish raiders and taken  to Ireland where he worked as a slave tending sheep. This most probably prepared him for working with people. (this is opinion, not fact)

2. St. Patrick prayed much while he tended sheep and was told by an angel to return to Scotland.

3. While back in Scotland he was told by an angel to return to Ireland and take the gospel message with him. He went on to become a priest and proclaim this message throughout Northern Ireland.

4. The connection between shamrocks and St. Patrick’s day evolved from his use of the three leaves of the shamrock to illustrate the Holy Trinity.

5. Thirteen million pints of Guinness beer are drunk world-wide on St. Patrick’s Day.

I’m all for a good party – in fact we’ve always been known as party people. But we’ve distorted the life of a saint and his message, equating this day with drinking as much beer as you can and peeing in people’s yards.

Yet still we are called a civilized society. Ponder that one today. 


On a less cynical note…. Stacy says this: “Today’s muffins are made with matcha (Japanese green tea) powder  in the hopes of getting green muffins for today’s celebration. No such luck but fortunately, I added some green sugar to the tops so they are still pretty. They were delicious and, my friend, who owns a tea shop, tells me they are healthy.” Head over to Stacy’s blog to check out Matcha Muffins!

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3 thoughts on “How a ‘Civilized’ Society Honors St. Patrick

  1. Love it, Marilyn. My relationship to St Patrick’s Day is so different now than it used to be, when it was about drunken college orgies rather than the communion of saints.


    1. I love revelry as well — but not when it’s peeing in my yard because of too many beers. :) I too have never liked using the word civilized when it came to societies and cultures. Which is why it worked perfectly here. My dislike for the word goes right along with my dislike for what this day has become.


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