Friday, March 17, 2017
St. Patrick's Day
Today is St. Patrick's Day, which, in the dioceses of the United States is a commemoration during this Second Week of Lent. In Ireland today is a solemnity (first class feast) and a Holy Day of Obligation. St. Patrick is, of course, Apostle and Patron of Ireland, and the first Archbishop of Armagh, and Primate of Ireland. He is also the Patron Saint of Nigeria.
St. Patrick was born in Britain around 389, visited Ireland during his youth in unfortunate circumstances, was ordained in the continent of Europe, and returned to the Emerald Isle as a Missionary, sent by Pope St. Celestine I . He founded the Archdiocese of Armagh in 445AD (Old Catholic Encyclopedia: Armagh). Writing his Confessio, and probably the Lorica, he was personally responsible for converting most of the people of Ireland at the time. He died between 461 and 464AD in Ireland.
For more, you might note:
Catholic Saints Info: St. Patrick
Old Catholic Encyclopedia: St. Patrick
Fisheaters (customs): St. Patrick
For the sake of curiosity, here is the website of the Archdiocese founded by St. Patrick -- which is actually in the United Kingdom: Diocese of Armagh, Ireland
Here is a link to the Cathedral of the Archdiocese of New York City, named for the great Apostle of Ireland: St. Patrick's Cathedral
So, even if in your neck of the woods, St. Patrick is only celebrated with a commemoration, and the day is more focused on Lent, it is certainly worth recalling the great contribution of St. Patrick, seeking his intercession, and praying for Ireland!
Finally, with today as a Lenten Friday, you might note that some bishops have offered dispensations from the requirement of abstinence from blood meat on this day. There is a running list of the dioceses in the USA that have done so for 2017 here: Whispers in the Loggia: Irish or not happy indult day (2017)