With a last name like O’D— well, you know the rest — how could I not post an entry on this, the day that honors Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland? Although he was born in coastal Britain and enslaved for much of his early life by Romans, Patrick became one of the first Christian missionaries in Ireland. He established schools and monastaries throughout the country and converted a great many of the pagans to Christianity using, most notably, the shamrock (a three-leaved clover) to symbolize the concept of the Trinity in his teachings. But even in pre-Christian ancient Ireland, the Celtic people had held the shamrock in high regard as a sacred plant because it symbolized the rebirth of spring.
Unlike its American counterpart, St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland has primarily remained a religious festival — with nary a drop of green beer to be found in any self-respecting pub. But whether you’re Irish or just wish you were, here’s hoping you’ll have a great St. Patty’s Day!