Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Back in 1990, my mother and sister were living in a rented cottage in Ireland, and I spent a blissful two months visiting and seeing nearly every castle and abbey ruin in the southern counties.  I was in love with the country and tried to commit every bit of my visit to memory.  When St. Patrick's Day comes around, I think a lot about the Rock of Cashel, Hore Abbey, and Clonmacnoise.  Regarding Cashel, I remember the tour guide relating the story of the third king of Cashel, Aengus, being baptized by St. Patrick there.  He related the legend, which my kids love, that Patrick accidentally pierced the king's foot with the pointed end of his staff (really handy for climbing hills around Ireland), but that the king thought it was part of the baptism ceremony, so he just gritted his teeth and kept silent.  The rough pagan king must have thought, wow, those Christians must be a tough lot!

Today we will read about St. Patrick here and in some of our own books.  Here is a coloring page for the big kids, and another for the younger ones (I had to sift through dozens of Leprechauns to find a single St. Patrick!).  We will most certainly look at my old photos of Ireland and some of my photo books, and bake something yummy.  And

Anyway, here's to St. Patrick and to the Irish and non-Irish alike who hold him in their hearts.  

Sláinte!

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