Happy Saint Patrick’s Day

They say that everyone is Irish, at least in their hearts, on Saint Patricks Day. I am one quarter Irish, through my maternal grandmother, May. I never met her, but the last thing my grandfather ever said as he was dying was her name. He loved her till the day he died.

You have to understand, she was completely Irish with no mixed ancestry. My grandfather was English, with no mixed ancestry. He was even a direct decendant of Wellington, who defeated Napolean at Waterloo. When they got married it scandalized both sides of the family. How dare she marry a hated Englishman and he dare take an Irish wench (even though they were both Americans). We have a colorful family history on my mother’s side of the family.

My family told me that I owed my ability to speak well to someone in our grand maternal past who had kissed the Blarney Stone. There is a stone, in Blarney Castle, that is said to bestow the gift of eloquent gab on the one who kisses it and some say, on a few of their select ancestors. An Irish bard from the early nineteenth century, Francis Sylvester Mahony, wrote this verse about the stone:

There is a stone there,
That whoever kisses,
Oh, he never misses
To grow eloquent.
‘Tis he may clamber
To a lady’s chamber,
Or become a member
Of Parliament.

The lady’s chamber part is of no interest but I have never really been afraid to get up in front of crowds and speak. I expect God will have a use for that some day…

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You can read my description of Patrick’s life from last year’s posting as well see the text of my favorite hymn, St. Patrick’s Breastplate here.

Celtic TriuneCeltic TriuneI pray today that God will bless you as he did Patrick and may you never shrink back from standing tall for Jesus Christ in every situation. May God fill you with the same fearlessness Patrick displayed.