Legends and Symbols of St. Patrick’s Day
By Annee Jones
Where did February go?? It seems to have flown in and out quicker than dandelion fluff! St. Patrick’s Day is coming up March 17th. Does anyone do anything fun to celebrate? When my daughter was a little girl, after she fell asleep the night before the holiday, I would sprinkle green glitter or confetti through the house to look like the trail of a leprechaun! I’d place a little pile of chocolate coins at the end. For an extra fun surprise, I’d add a bit of green food coloring to the toilet water, hee hee! Of course, we’d then have to cook green eggs, green pancakes, and eat green food together. It was such a fun way to spend time together.
St. Patrick was actually a 5th-century missionary to Ireland and later served as bishop there. He is credited with bringing Christianity to parts of Ireland and is one of the country’s patron saints. Saint Patrick's Breastplate is an Old Irish prayer of protection that is attributed to Saint Patrick. It is one of my favorite hymns (I’ve included the words below).
The shamrock is known as one of the symbols of this holiday. It is said that St. Patrick used the three-leaved clover to demonstrate the three-part nature of God.
Have you ever wondered why you’re supposed to wear green on St. Patrick Day, and why you might get pinched if you don’t? This tradition began in the early 1700’s. It was thought that wearing green would make one invisible to leprechauns, fairy creatures who like to pinch anyone they see not wearing the color, which is one of the colors of the flag of Ireland.
According to Irish folklore, a leprechaun looks like a little old man and dresses like a shoemaker with a cocked hat and leather apron. They are cranky tricksters who mend the shoes of Irish fairies. The fairies pay the leprechauns for their work with golden coins, which the leprechauns collect in large pots–the famous “pots of gold.” Supposedly these pots of gold are hidden at the ends of the rainbow.
Perhaps you might enjoy coloring some rainbows and shamrocks (there are many free printables on the internet) and hanging them in your windows this year?
Until next time, wishing you the “Luck O’ the Irish!”
I bind unto myself today
The strong Name of the Trinity,
By invocation of the same,
The Three in One and One in Three.
I bind this day to me for ever.
By power of faith, Christ's incarnation;
His baptism in the Jordan river;
His death on Cross for my salvation;
His bursting from the spicèd tomb;
His riding up the heavenly way;
His coming at the day of doom;*
I bind unto myself today.
I bind unto myself the power
Of the great love of the cherubim;
The sweet 'well done' in judgment hour,
The service of the seraphim,
Confessors' faith, Apostles' word,
The Patriarchs' prayers, the Prophets' scrolls,
All good deeds done unto the Lord,
And purity of virgin souls.
I bind unto myself today
The virtues of the starlit heaven,
The glorious sun's life-giving ray,
The whiteness of the moon at even,
The flashing of the lightning free,
The whirling wind's tempestuous shocks,
The stable earth, the deep salt sea,
Around the old eternal rocks.
I bind unto myself today
The power of God to hold and lead,
His eye to watch, His might to stay,
His ear to hearken to my need.
The wisdom of my God to teach,
His hand to guide, His shield to ward,
The word of God to give me speech,
His heavenly host to be my guard.
Against the demon snares of sin,
The vice that gives temptation force,
The natural lusts that war within,
The hostile men that mar my course;
Or few or many, far or nigh,
In every place and in all hours,
Against their fierce hostility,
I bind to me these holy powers.
Against all Satan's spells and wiles,
Against false words of heresy,
Against the knowledge that defiles,
Against the heart's idolatry,
Against the wizard's evil craft,
Against the death wound and the burning,
The choking wave and the poisoned shaft,
Protect me, Christ, till Thy returning.
Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me.
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.
I bind unto myself the Name,
The strong Name of the Trinity;
By invocation of the same.
The Three in One, and One in Three,
Of Whom all nature hath creation,
Eternal Father, Spirit, Word:
Praise to the Lord of my salvation,
Salvation is of Christ the Lord.
Annee Jones is an inspirational romance novelist who enjoys sharing her heart and imagination with others. She is passionate about writing stories that offer hope and encouragement and likes to think of her books as “romance filled with faith and a sprinkle of fairy dust!”
Annee is also a professional book reviewer for Publishers Weekly in the genre of faith-based fiction (fun tidbit: she writes many of the editorial reviews you see on Amazon).
Professionally, Annee works as a disability counselor where she helps her clients navigate through complex medical and legal systems while rediscovering their wholeness in Spirit.
Connect with Annee here:
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