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Reflecting St. Patrick Beyond Clovers

A feast is approaching—one of the great celebrations in the middle of Lent—St. Patrick’s Day. It is easy to get lost in the leprechauns, clovers, and marketed drunkenness, so let’s reclaim our Catholic heritage in this year’s celebration of St. Patrick’s [Feast] Day which has been a time for rejoicing and remembrance since the 10th century. Let’s focus on why this is day of feasting in the Church, what we are called to ponder, and how we might remind others of the deeper meaning.

Here are some snippets from the story of this great saint to guide you in prayer as you reflect it in your outfit.

St. Patrick is from Scotland, and eventually lived in Ireland during his time of evangelization.

Reflect Patrick’s homeland which is home to many other great saints like St. Andrew and St. Margaret. Break out your plaid skirts and wool garments to reflect this resilient land.

He is called the Apostle of Ireland. Which was no small feat. He was sent because the first guy appointed on mission by Pope Celestine, ditched out of fear of the intense opposition by the Wicklow chief. Patrick was sent forth with the name, ‘Patercius’ or ‘Patritius’, not as an honorary title, but as a foreshadowing of the fruitfulness and merit of his apostolate whereby he became pater civium (the father of his people) (New Advent).

Put on those leather boots to reflect his missionary spirit and courageous audacity to preach in the place where he was first enslaved. Patrick had to deal with a lot of push back, “His evangelization efforts were not met without resistance and trials. Him and his companions were often carried off as captives” (New Advent).

St. Patrick was kidnapped by pirates, sold as a slave, and for 6 years took care of his master’s flocks.

Wear gold hoops and bandanas for a pirate edge in your look or lean into your cottagecore to reflect Patrick’s time as a shepherd.

Benen the companion and successor of St. Patrick, is known to have gathered sweet-scented flowers and scatter them over St. Patrick’s bosom while he slept.

Wear some floral accents in your look as a way to ponder Benen’s honoring of St. Patrick as a spiritual father while we ask for his paternal guidance and intercession.

An ancient narrative describes a time that St. Patrick was on retreat on Mount Sinai of Ireland—demons came to tempt and torment him in forms of birds of prey—so many that he could not see the sky or ocean. So he persevered in prayer, “He rang his sweet-sounding bell, symbol of his preaching of the Divine truths. Its sound was heard all over the valleys and hills of Erin, everywhere bringing peace and joy. The flocks of demons began to scatter. He flung his bell among them; they took to precipitate flight, and cast themselves into the ocean. So complete was the saint's victory over them that, as the ancient narrative adds, ‘for seven years no evil thing was to be found in Ireland’” (New Advent).

Wear gold accessories to reflect the bells that caused demons to flee on Mount Sinai and have confidence that God delights in the intercession of His saints.

In one of the more authentic narratives, there is a story of maidens that persistently questioned Patrick about the Faith. They converted out of the desire to see the Lord after hearing the Gospel. He explained that it is not exactly possible to Jesus face to face until death. So, upon receiving Baptism and the Eucharist with joy, the maidens immediately died, still dressed in their white baptismal garments.

Wear any white garment to reflect the confident faith of those who converted after hearing Patrick’s proclamation of the Gospel.

Irish Style Inspiration

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