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Mon Mar 17, 2014, 11:17 AM

In case anyone is interested - here is a good explanation of why we remember St. Patrick:

From a review of "How the Irish Saved Civilization" by Thomas Cahill:

" The Patrick in question was a former Celtic slave brought to Ireland from Roman-era Britain. His name was originally Patricius, but he came to be known to later generations as St. Patrick. Mr. Cahill's theory about him goes something like this:

The Ireland of the early fifth century was a brooding, dank island whose inhabitants, while carefree and warlike on the outside, lived in "quaking fear" within, their terror of shape-changing monsters, of sudden death and the insubstantiality of their world so acute that they drank themselves into an insensate stupor in order to sleep.

Patrick, however, provided "a living alternative." He was a serene man who slept well without drink, a man "in whom the sharp fear of death has been smoothed away." The Christianity he proposed to the Irish succeeded because it took away the dread from the magical world that was Ireland. And once they were Christianized, the Irish founded the monastic movement, copying the books being destroyed elsewhere by Germanic invaders, eventually bringing them back to the places from which the books had come.

....

There are other characters in Mr. Cahill's history, the most important of them clearly being Patrick, one of his heroes, a man of less intellectual refinement than Augustine but of greater humanity. Mr. Cahill credits him with being "the first human being in the history of the world to speak out unequivocally against slavery."

http://www.nytimes.com/books/97/03/09/bsp/irish.html

I recommend the book as an antidote to all the "St. Patty's Day" nonsense out there.


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Reply In case anyone is interested - here is a good explanation of why we remember St. Patrick: (Original post)
hedgehog Mar 2014 OP
frazzled Mar 2014 #1
FSogol Mar 2014 #3
Fumesucker Mar 2014 #2
FSogol Mar 2014 #4
alterfurz Mar 2014 #5
hedgehog Mar 2014 #6

Response to hedgehog (Original post)

Mon Mar 17, 2014, 12:10 PM

1. Well, for being about someone who slept well without drink ...

it sure is a crazy mess of drunken people who walk around wearing sparkly green things and pretend to believe in leprechauns and such. Just the sort of "magical world" of "insensate stupor" Patricius/St. Patrick must've frowned on.

We had the city's annual St. Patrick's Day Parade here on Saturday--the big one, where they dye the river bright green. I normally avoid going outside on this day altogether, but I had to do errands and then had tickets for a concert at night. I have to say, the bands of drunken (mostly young) people pouring out of bars and yukking it up on the trains and in the streets was both amusing and really, really annoying.

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Response to frazzled (Reply #1)

Mon Mar 17, 2014, 12:17 PM

3. The modern world is a pretty serious place. I wouldn't begrudge anyone a day here and

there to drink and act like fools.

"Sláinte na bhfear agus go maire na mná go deo!"

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Response to hedgehog (Original post)

Mon Mar 17, 2014, 12:15 PM

2. ...

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Response to hedgehog (Original post)

Mon Mar 17, 2014, 12:18 PM

4. I concur. Excellent book. n/t

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Response to hedgehog (Original post)

Mon Mar 17, 2014, 12:19 PM

5. "Being Irish, he had an abiding sense of tragedy...

...which sustained him through temporary periods of joy." -- William Butler Yeats


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Response to alterfurz (Reply #5)

Mon Mar 17, 2014, 12:50 PM

6. I used to rent Irish movies to show my kids - they said that

you could tell an Irish movie because everyone died; a happy Irish movie was where the bad guys died!

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