Please don't wish me a Happy St. Patrick's Day. Although March 17th is a day of celebration for many across the globe, for me, and others like me, it is a day of mourning.
St. Patrick is known as the patron saint of Ireland but was not, in fact, even Irish. He was actually born in either Scotland or Wales and his real name was Maewyn. (Very Welsh, isn't it?) He was kidnapped as a child and sold as a slave to a landowner in Ireland during which time he supposedly started getting religious visions.
(Or was he just a really angry, abused little boy who wanted revenge on the people who made him unhappy?)
Well, eventually Maewyn got free and travelled to France where he joined a monastery. When he came back to Ireland, it was to spread the word of God to the Pagans - a task he accomplished through force, threats and death.
You may have heard the tale of how St. Patrick drove all the snakes out of Ireland. Did you also hear that many scientists agree that there were NEVER any snakes native to Ireland? Or how the snake is an age-old Pagan symbol? The snakes that St. Patrick supposedly drove out of Ireland were actually Pagans. (In Christianity, the snake is a symbol of all things evil and unclean - something St. Patrick would most certainly have claimed the Pagan beliefs and practices were.)
So you'll forgive me if I don't toast to the destruction of a religious system with green beer. What I will do is wear a snake in honour of everyone who suffered at the orders - if not the hands of - St. Patrick.