On March 17th, it seems everyone is Irish! According to Hallmark, Americans, and not just Irish Americans, will send 8 million cards for St. Patrick’s Day – making it the 8th biggest occasion in the holiday calendar. While a majority of those cards land in the northeast where there is a significant Irish population, there is no denying that Irish and Irish-loving people are nationwide.
The holiday commemorates the death of St. Patrick on March 17th, 461 A.D. and over 1,500 years many of the facts and fictions associated with this worldwide figure have blended together into a celebratory legend. Born the son of a Roman army officer as, Maewyn Succat, in either Scotland or Roman-conquered Britain, his Romanicized name was Patricius. He was kidnapped by pirates as a young boy and taken to Ireland where he was imprisoned for nearly 6 years. It was here that he is said to have had a divine vision that would change his life. Escaping to France, he studied in monastery for 12 years under Saint Germaine before again heeding the divine call to go an be “the voice of the Irish.”
With the Pope’s blessing, Patrick set out to convert the Gaelic Irish to Christianity after centuries of pagan practices led by Celtic Druids. He was indeed a strong messenger of the faith and was immensely successful in sharing the Gospel. His converts included royal families and multitudes of commoners and his efforts over two decades established monasteries, schools, churches, councils and clergy. Arrested repeatedly by the Druids, he would escape over and over and continue his ministry.
It is said that Patrick used a native plant, the 3-leaf clover, to help explain the central tenant of Catholicism, the Holy Trinity – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – which is why the clover and the color green are so readily identified with his holiday. There is also a legend that Saint Patrick drove the venomous snakes from Ireland.
What started as a religious observance for the patron saint of Ireland over a thousand years ago has become a worldwide celebration of all things Irish. Today, St. Patrick’s Day – or the Feast of Saint Patrick as it is also know – brings with it the embrace of Irish culture celebrated with parades, festivals, special dances, unique foods and levity of every kind. Green is the color of choice and stories, legends and whimsical tales are told and retold.
Everyone is Irish for a day and everyone can enjoy some of Chocolate Pizza Company’s special St. Patrick’s Day treats. Surprise your favorite Leprechaun with gourmet chocolate fun done in the colors and flavors of the emerald isle herself. You can order today and add “Ship for St. Patrick’s Day” in the comments on checkout. We’ll make sure your gift arrives in time for the party!