by Chris Noonan Funnell
It has come to my attention as a descendant of Irish royalty (on my O’Leary side) and as a self-proclaimed IAP (Irish-American Princess) that all is not well in Irish America.
Firstly, it is the total loss of understanding of the message St. Patrick brought to the Gaels in the 5th century, the reason why we have a day called St. Patrick’s Day. Patrick died on March 17th in 461AD at the age of 121. This date became a celebration of the miraculous deliverance of the Irish from paganism and the joy of being Irish once you stop banging your head against a wall.
Patricius was born in what is now England to a noble family, but as luck would have it was abducted by Irish marauders who took him and his friends back to Ireland where he was enslaved for six years as a shepherd and swineherd. He longed for home and did some serious prayer and repentance for his wayward youth as he gazed up at the stars. Miraculously, he was shown in a dream how to escape and make his way back home where he became a monk. He wrote in his memoir that he had a subsequent dream in which the Irish people begged him to return to free them from idolatry.
He was granted permission to go as a missionary with a small team and because of his years of slavery he had a deep understanding of the people and knew just what it took to reach a people steeped in magic who worshiped nature. They enshrined all of nature: the sun, trees, rocks and even snakes which had become a plague. Patrick is credited with ridding the Island of snakes as well as performing many other signs and wonders.
Today the story of St. Patrick’s nearly single-handed conversion of the Irish race is treated as entertainment, somewhat like the legend of Hercules or Darth Vader.
The worst of it is that some are saying the holiday is really about celebrating the military victory when Boston saw the last of the English on Evacuation Day, which also happened to fall upon March 17th in 1776. State employees now consider the day a rite of spring to enjoy a paid holiday, drink heavily and wear green beads. They hold parades that would put St. Patrick in high dudgeon were he here now.
It is a difficult question: W.W.P.D.? (What would Patrick Do?) Would he march in the parade alongside the likes of Mayor Walsh and Governor Baker? They both refused to march if the Outvets, a homosexual veterans association, were not allowed to march under their rainbow flag and they got their way. It has been a brouhaha for years with court cases, appeals and flip flops with the current outcome that sodomites can march under their rainbow flag right along a St. Patrick impersonator and our young step dancing daughters who have already gotten used to the idea of impersonators in their bathroom and public accommodations thanks to Attorney General Maura Healey…so what’s the big deal? … and if you don’t like it, yer can lump it!
March 17th is a great day for the Irish, but when you’ve sobered up, study up on the real St. Patrick – not the “pot of gold at the end of the rainbow” (follow the money) version.
More instructions for being your best Irish can be found on my website: www.goodnewsboston.blogspot.com
Chris Funnell, Freelance writer, Commonwealth Covenant Keepers, Founder and Director