Thursday, 15 March 2012

Naomh Padraig (St. Patrick)

Icon, St. Patrick of Ireland, by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2012
 Happy St. Patrick's Day to you all.  I realize that my wishes come 2 days early, but in order to keep to my regular posting schedule, it was either going to be two days early or two days late.  So, I decided early was better!

I had also decided some time ago that this year I wanted to do an icon of dear St. Patrick.  Not only do I have a real fondness for this patron of Ireland, but Patrick is also the name of one of the most important men in my life -- my godson, Patrick. After working on it for some time, I finally finished it at the beginning of this week.

Many people know the basic story of St. Patrick.  Tradition holds that St. Patrick was born on the coast of England, kidnapped in his youth and sold as a slave in Ireland. After escaping to his homeland, Patrick joined the priesthood. Eventually, Pope St. Celestine I commissioned his return to Ireland as a missionary. While not the first to bring Christianity to Ireland, Patrick converted many warrior chieftains, baptizing them and their subjects.

As for the story of St. Patrick and the snakes -- that he banished all the snakes from Ireland because they were an object of pagan worship -- it is not true.  According to the Keeper of Natural History at the National Museum of Ireland (Dublin), there were never any snakes in post-glacial Ireland to begin with!  This is a gives me great happiness as I am very fond of such creatures (as many of you know) and would hate to think of all those Irish snakes wandering through the oceans, forever homeless all because of one of my favourite saints!

One of the other things that St. Patrick is known for is called "St. Patrick's Breastplate".  This prayer is called "St. Patrick's Breastplate" because of those parts of it that seek God's protection. It is also known as "The Deer's Cry" or "The Lorica". it begins "I bind unto myself today the strong Name of the Trinity, by invocation of the same, the Three in One and One in Three." If you want to read the complete text of this lengthy, but beautiful, prayer, please go to the following:

Shamrock (seamrog)
 It is said that St. Patrick converted the first of the pagan Irish by explaining the Trinity using the lowly Shamrock.  The shamrock is a three-leafed old white clover. It is known as a symbol of Ireland. The name shamrock is derived from Irish seamróg, which is the diminutive version of the Irish word for clover (seamair).

And, so, St. Patrick, please pray for us, especially on your feast day, March 17th, the day when people all over the world claim to be Irish!  Slainte! 


Things you may not have known!  (If you know all of this already, just pretend you don't so that I can continue to feel very pleased with myself)

Canada has more lakes than the rest of the world combined. Canada is an Indian word meaning  "Big Village".

Antarctica is the only land on our planet That is not owned by any country.
Ninety percent of the world's ice covers Antarctica.  This ice also represents seventy percent of all the fresh water in the world.  As strange as it sounds, however, Antarctica is essentially a desert; The average yearly total precipitation is about two inches.  Although covered with ice (all but 0.4% of it, ice.), Antarctica is the driest place on the planet with an absolute humidity lower than the Gobi desert.

The Amazon rain forest produces more than 20% Of the world's oxygen supply.
The Amazon River pushes so much water into the Atlantic Ocean that, more than one hundred miles at sea off the mouth of the river, one can dip fresh water out of the ocean. The volume of water in the Amazon river is greater than the next eight largest rivers in the world combined and three times the flow of all rivers in the United States .

Siberia contains more than 25% of the world's forests.

In the Sahara Desert , there is a town named Tidikelt, Algeria, that did not receive a drop of rain for ten years.  Technically, though, the driest place on Earth is in the valleys of the Antarctic near Ross Island.  There has been no rainfall there for two million years.



I had to use a drawing as she wouldn't
sit still wearing that hat and have her
picture taken!

Well, here is your St. Patrick's Day greeting from Suki.  What I had really wanted to do was to put a little green hat on her and take a photo, but as I noted under the drawing, Suki refused to co-operate!

She has actually been a fairly well-behaved cat this week although she did go after the shower drain cover a couple of times!  I am ashamed to confess that I have gone so far as to booby trap the shower bench I have been using in a futile effort to keep her from removing the drain cover.  I have gone so far as to balance a big coat hanger on the shower bench that has one leg resting on the drain cover!  Suki hasn't attempted to remove the cover since I made this arrangement; however, the next time she sneaks into the shower to delight in this forbidden activity, I expect there to be quite a commotion.  Moving the bath bench even a little should cause the coat hanger to fall which will, hopefully, frighten dear Suki so much that she will never try to remove the cover ever again.  See what desperate behaviours a cat caregiver can be driven to!  It is really rather pathetic...

I, on the other hand, have been almost out-sleeping my cat.  I seem to get tired very easily these days so the best remedy is just to rest whenever necessary -- and resting often leads to a nap.  It would be wonderful if whatever treatments are ahead of me could help me to get some of my energy back!  However, it appears that first of all they are going to be robbing me of any energy I have.  Let me explain...

In yesterday's mail I received a fat envelope from the cardiology department at St. Mike's Hospital.  It contained three sheets of paper:  one told me that I have an appointment next week for another heart stress test; the 2nd sheet told me that the week after that I will have to wear a Holter monitor for 48 hours; finally the third sheet tells me that the week after that I finally have an appointment with the cardiologist!  By then, if I am still alive, I may be given a definite diagnosis with a suggested program of corrective action! 

Two things I disliked so much that I said I would never do again are the stress test and wearing a Holter monitor -- I should know by now to never say never when it comes to medical care!  Well, hopefully, all this activity will lead to a good result.  Anyway, I don't have the first appointment until a week from tomorrow so I will deal with it when the time comes.  Today, I plan to go outside and enjoy the beautiful weather -- a lovely gift from God.

And here is your Irish Blessing from me to all of you:
May the love and protection
St. Patrick can give
Be yours in abundance
as long as you live.

Go mbeannai Dia duit (May God Bless You).


Deb said...

Happy St. Patrick's Day, and may all the tests go smoothly!

Sallie (Sarah) said...

Thanks, Deb. I am sure you will get all the gory details as I go through each test! 8-)

Hylott said...

Dear Sallie,

This post in its entirety is nothing short of beautifully magnificent! I truly thoroughly enjoyed it. To both you and Suki Patsy, Yerby and I wish you a blessed St. Patrick's Day!

Warmest Regards,


Sallie (Sarah) said...

Thanks so much, Hylott. Words of praise from you are really appreciated as I know you see so much stuff online everyday.