It’s great to see all the people jostling back for St Patrick’s Day next week, and the sunshine of events and activity after the long winter of the pandemic. The colorful variety in parades and celebrations in recent years is often encouraged and enriched. But sometimes one aspect seems to be missing, or at least left out: St Patrick himself.
Last year, The State Department has put together a fascinating little video, mainly for overseas consumption, for St Patrick’s Day: it deals with home, family and friends, showing a lovely Irish setting.nurses praise, charity workers, soldiers, and praising a global Ireland and the great work Ireland’s health and care workers are doing in the face of the Covid pandemic – all absolutely amazing.
But no mention of the fifth-century shepherd boy, taken as a slave to Ireland, who not only evangelized Ireland but, as today’s scholars admit, was virtually established. Irish identity, and began to think of Irish as a cohesive nation, and a particular civilization. That is, Patrick, after whom, apparently, the national holiday of March 17 (north and south of the Border) is named.
Perhaps the key people at the DFA, or perhaps the consultants who convey these glossy images, thought that referring to Patrick would be “clan” or even “undiversified”. Perhaps they want to steer clear of images of the past, or anything that seems moral or traditional. If so, I suppose they’ve fallen behind the curve: interest in the golden age of Celtic spirituality has never been so intertwined. There was an explosion in the study of scholars, and especially archaeologists, into the monastic fields of Europe – in which Ireland was a major player – with all Modern tool for carbon dating and computer-generated models.
Patrick has long been revered by tradition, and sometimes legend – the story of him banishing snakes from Ireland is truly fanciful (the snakes presumably disappeared with the Ice Age). River). And some historians claim that it was Palladius who Christianized Ireland. But modern scholars have revisited the topic of Patrick and dug deeper into the story: Palladius took some basic steps, but it was Patrick who really reached the agreement.
And for those worried that Patrick might not be “inclusive” or even, perhaps, “awakened” enough for our modern day, UCD scholar Roy Flechner suggests that Patrick as “the saint of immigrants,” as well as the saint. expose the cruelty of slavery, of which, unfortunately, the 5th-century Irishmen were fervent practitioners. Flechner also tells us Irish women were the first to be converted by Patrick – aristocratic women who donated their jewelry to keep his missionary program on track.
Patrick, who was born on the west coast of England, possibly near Carlisle, comes at a time – 432 – when Ireland is poised for change, moving from a fragmented and scattered tribal system to a single entity. more cohesive and unified. Patrick is the catalyst of change.
He provided the first written record of the Irish chronicles – there are no accounts, Flechner, of Ireland’s first druids – said – and wrote what is now recognized as the first autobiography. Ireland’s ancestor, yours. Confessio. He introduced not only Irish Christianity, but also the golden age of Irish civilization and monasticism, the fruits of which we can see in the beautiful cathedrals of Ardagh and Derrynaflan, as well as many extraordinary manuscripts such as the Book of Kells and Durrow. Patrick’s Christianity also connects Ireland with Europe.
Crawford Gribben, from Queen’s University Belfast, clearly defines Irish culture in the Patrick era. And ever since he appeared before the Reformation, Patrick has been proclaimed equal by Irish Protestants – Church scholars of Ireland began studying Patrick in the 1570s. (They translated the Bible. into Irish, and Patrick preached from the Bible.)
And perhaps subtly, Patrick was never officially canonized according to the rites of Rome – his sainthood was by public acclaim.
In his book The Rise and Fall of Christianity in Ireland, Professor Gribben aptly documents the decline of Irish Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular, which he writes as “falling off a cliff” from the 1990s onwards. However, that does not diminish the achievements of Patrick and later famous Irish saints and scholars – Kevin, Columba, Kilian, Malachy – still evident on the caudal fin of the Aer Lingus aircraft. Crawford Gribben sees the golden age of Irish monasticism as a better expression of Irish identity and nation than in recent decades, and suggests that we should go back to those roots.
St Patrick’s Day is a popular national and international festival, and is not an occasion for instruction in Celtic monasticism. But Patrick himself shouldn’t miss the festival. He is as central to Irish identity as Kyiv’s St Volodymyr – converted in 989 – is the nation of Ukraine.
https://www.independent.ie/opinion/comment/on-paddys-day-dont-forget-who-forged-the-identity-of-ireland-st-patrick-himself-41425891.html On Paddy’s Day, don’t forget who forged Ireland’s identity – St Patrick himself