Happy St. Patrick’s

Happy St Pat's

Happy St. Patrick’s Day. Hailey E. HerreraCC BY

Last year on this day, I wrote about being St. Patrick’s granddaughter.

My grandfather, born in 1906 in the far reaches of Beaufort County, North Carolina, was named Columbus St. Patrick. (Read the post if you like).

You’d think our family would be Catholic, celebrating this day with the best of them, but we aren’t and we don’t. What a mystery, his having that name. Legend has it that his grandfather came to America from Ireland, but records are sketchy. One of these days I’ll have my DNA tested by Ancestry.com to prove how green my blood really is (it’s metaphorical, Mr. Spock. Although being related to you would be . . . fascinating).

I love Irish things. My wedding band bears a Claddagh. Hearing an Irish tenor takes my breath, stirs my soul, fills me with an ache, a longing. Whenever I visit New York City, I have to stop by St. Patrick’s Cathedral; I could stay inside indefinitely, savoring the profound beauty, the grandeur, the reverent hush. It’s one of my all-time favorite places. I adored Frank McCourt and met him years ago when he came to speak at North Carolina State University—it was snowing that night. Magical. I have a shamrock growing in a pot on my kitchen table and I even had an Irish Setter once. His name was Dublin. I grew up eating Irish potatoes grown by my grandfather or from the potato sheds of his farming community; Granddaddy’s pronunciation was ishe (for years I thought he was saying ice) potatoes. I’d love to visit Ireland.

I thought, to commemorate this day, that I’d post a lovely quote from St. Patrick and reflect upon it, maybe in verse.

This, however, is the quote I found, and for the life of me (remember the Irish keen sense of humor), I can’t find another one to top it at present.

So, Happy St. Patrick’s Day, one and all—with a special nod to Harry Potter fans:

Do you suppose it’s true, that St. Patrick was a Parselmouth, and his Muggle friends never knew?

~David J. Beard (1947–2016), tweet, 2012 March 17th



16 thoughts on “Happy St. Patrick’s

  1. Definitely want my dna tested. That route from Ireland to the US was sketchy. We are having trouble with navigating that ancestry past them sneaking in through Canada. Doesn’t help being a Kennedy, there’s a lot of them with similar names and origins.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hahaha – I love the quote. I love the idea that sometimes we go looking for something important or deep and end up with something completely different – and it works anyway. Also, Columbus St. Patrick!? What a name! Maybe next year you can update on your DNA results.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. My father–the mostly-non-Irish side of my family–had his DNA tested recently, with no surprises. I’m hoping my uncle, the only living relative from my mother’s nuclear family, will have his done; I’d like the confirmation that their tales of being Irish through and through are, indeed, factual. We will continue to celebrate St Patty’s Day, nonetheless!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Lovely St. Patrick’s Day post. That picture up top is gorgeous. I’m a huge fan of Frank McCourt, too. This summer my husband and I are traveling to Ireland. Can’t wait.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It seems as though you do have a fondness for all things Irish, so maybe there is some Irish in your blood. Interesting story of your grandfather and his name. Why on earth would someone attach St. to a name? It’s beyond my understanding. The lady in the DNA commercial who claims she thought she was married to an Italian, now finds out he isn’t, really bothers me. You married him because of his heritage? Not because you loved him? My family tree is pretty pure so I know what the DNA would say, half Dutch, quarter Danish and Norwegian.

    Liked by 1 person

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