St. Patrick’s Day Blessing On You

Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig oraibh!

(ban-ock-tee na fay-lah paw-rig ur-iv)

Ireland has three official patron saints. They are Saint Patrick, Saint Brigid and Saint Colmcille yet it has always been Saint Patrick that has captured the Irish people’s imagination. Born in Wales (or possibly Scotland) when he was fourteen he was captured during a slave raiding party and taken to Ireland as a to herd and tend sheep. At the time, Ireland was a land of Druids and pagans but in his adopted country Patrick turned to God and would write later

“The love of God and his fear grew in me more and more, as did the faith, and my soul was rosed, so that, in a single day, I have said as many as a hundred prayers and in the night, nearly the same. I prayed in the woods and on the mountain, even before dawn. I felt no hurt from the snow or ice or rain.”

Patrick’s captivity lasted until he was twenty, when he escaped after having a dream in which he was told to leave Ireland by going to the coast. There he found some sailors who took him back to Britain and he was reunited with his family. A few years after returning home, Patrick saw a vision he described in his memoir

“I saw a man coming, as it were from Ireland. His name was Victoricus, and he carried many letters, and he gave me one of them. I read the heading: ‘The Voice of the Irish.’ As I began the letter, I imagined in that moment that I heard the voice of those very people who were near the wood of Foclut, which is beside the western sea-and they cried out, as with one voice: ‘We appeal to you, holy servant boy, to come and walk among us.”

The vision prompted his studies for the priesthood. He studied under St. Germanus and was ordained a bishop and sent to take the Gospel to Ireland. Patrick arrived in Slane, Ireland on March 25, 433. There are several legends about what happened next, with the most prominent claiming he met the chieftain of one of the druid tribes, who tried to kill him. After an intervention from God, Patrick was able to convert the chieftain and preach the Gospel throughout Ireland. There, he converted many people -eventually thousands – and he began building churches across the country. He often used shamrocks to explain the Holy Trinity and entire kingdoms were eventually converted to Christianity after hearing Patrick’s message. Patrick preached and converted all of Ireland for 40 years. He worked many miracles and wrote of his love for God in Confessions. After years of living in poverty, travelling and enduring much suffering he died March 17, 461. He died at Saul, where he had built the first Irish church and he is believed to be buried in Down Cathedral, Downpatrick.

For our annual St. Patrick’s Day post we feature a Celtic-Punk band that we love and recommend you listen to and today it is the turn of The Pikeys. Sixty odd minutes of full on Irish Celtic Rock’n’Roll recorded live on January 14, 2023 at the 10th Annual Irishpalooza at Harlow’s in the guy’s home town of Sacramento. Formed back in 2010 by Ben and Mike after listening to Ronnie Drew and Black Flag through the bottom of a whiskey bottle. They sing about going to war with the English, murder and drinking, traditional Irish songs about drinking, war with the English and murder, unexpected covers about murder, drinking and war with the English and even some acapella sing-a-longs about murder, war and drinking with the English. The Pikeys were born of Punk Rock and Irish whiskey.

Since this concert after thirteen years at the helm Mike sadly decided to leave the band. Carrying on The Pikeys without their friend didn’t seem right so the Bhoys decided the best thing to do would be to change their name and they are now known as The Pint Thieves. Don’t worry though it’s the same songs about drinking, war with the English and murder!

The Pint Thieves  WebSite  Facebook  Instagram  YouTube

“No enemy speaks slightingly of Irish Music, and no friend need fear to boast of it. It is without a rival Its antique war-tunes, such as those of O’Byrne, O’Donnell, MacAlistrum and Brian Boru, stream and crash upon the ear like the warriors of a hundred glens meeting; and you are borne with them to battle, and they and you charge and struggle amid cries and battle-axes and stinging arrows.”

Thomas Davis. 14 October 1814 – 16 September 1845

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