Saint Patrick’s Day is Sunday and celebrates the wonderful Irish culture. It was made an official Christian feast day in the early 17th century and is observed by the Roman Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion (especially the Church of Ireland) and the Eastern Orthodox Church. The day commemorates Saint Patrick and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland and the heritage and culture of the Irish in general.
Celebrations for many generally involve public parades and festivals and the wearing of green attire or shamrocks. Christians who belong to liturgical denominations also attend church services, and historically the Lenten restrictions on eating and drinking alcohol are lifted for the day which has encouraged and propagated the holiday’s tradition of alcohol consumption.
We offer these stories of the Irish to celebrate their heritage and abundant humor. Here’s a true story from an Irish Sunday School Teacher.
“I was testing children in my Dublin, Ireland Sunday School class to see if they understood the concept of getting to heaven.
I asked them, ‘If I sold my house and my car, had a big garage sale and gave all my money to the church, would that get me into heaven?
‘No!’ the children answered.’
‘If I cleaned the church every day, mowed the garden, and kept everything tidy, would that get me into heaven?’ Again, the answer was, ‘No!’ ‘If I gave sweets to all the children, and loved my husband, would that get me into heaven?’
Again, they all answered, ‘No!’
I was just bursting with pride for them.
I continued, ‘Then how can I get into heaven?’
A little boy shouted out, ‘You’ve got to be freakin dead!’ Ah, children!”
Now this: Muldoon lived alone in the Irish countryside with only a pet dog for company. One day the dog died, and Muldoon went to the parish priest and asked, “Father, my dog is dead. Could ya’ be saying a mass for the poor creature?”
Father Patrick replied, “I’m afraid not; we cannot have services for an animal in the church. But there are some Baptists down the lane, and there’s no telling what they believe. Maybe they’ll do something for the creature.”
Muldoon said, “I’ll go right away Father. Do ya’ think $5,000 is enough to donate to them for the service?”
Father Patrick exclaimed, “Sweet Mary, Mother of Jesus! Why didn’t ya’ tell me the dog was Catholic?”
Paddy Murphy arrived in America at Boston’s Logan Airport and wandered about the terminal with tears streaming down his cheeks. A Texan asked him if he was homesick. “No,” replied the Irishman. “It’s worse, I I’ve lost all me luggage.”
“That’s terrible, how did that happen?”
“The cork fell out of me bottle,” said Paddy.”
And finally, An Irishman by the name of O’Malley proposed to his girl on St. Patrick’s Day. He gave her a ring with a synthetic diamond. The excited young lass showed it to her father, a jeweler. He took one look at it and saw it wasn’t real.
The young lass on learning it wasn’t real returned to her future husband. She protested vehemently about his cheapness. “It was in honor of St. Patrick’s Day,” he smiled.” I gave you a sham rock.” I just don’t think that engagement will turn out well.
One of my favorite Irish blessings begins … “May you always have windows for your walls, a roof for the rain, a chair beside the fire, laughter to cheer you, those you love near you, and all your heart might desire.”
In addition to all their humor, the Irish really know how to say it in this Irish prayer: “May God give you … for every storm, a rainbow, for every tear, a smile, for every care, a promise, and a blessing in each trial. For every problem in life, a faithful friend to share, for every side, a sweet song, and an answer for each prayer.
And now that we’ve had all these nice thoughts, let me end with with the true humor of the Irish. Here is an old Irish curse; “ May those that love us, love us; and those that don’t love us, may God turn their hearts. If he can’t turn their hearts, may he turn their ankles so we’ll know them by their limping.”
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
(Melanie Behrens – firstname.lastname@example.org)
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