If you think about it, St. Patrick's impact on the world even up to the present day, is surpassed by few saints (and I am not talking about green beer.) Even my humble parish in rural South Carolina is manned by an Irish missionary priest.
But as indicated in the post below about the decreasing demand for Guinness, this influence of St. Patrick is finally waning as the Irish seminaries are empty. Prosperity has started to make the Irish feel they no longer need God quite so much. This happened to Catholics in America after World War II when properity finally started coming to the 2nd & 3rd generation Irish and Italian immigrants with the GI bill and the end of the depression.
One of the reasons we started Requiem Press was to highlight the sacrifices Catholics have made over the centuries since the Incarnation to love God above all else. We have forgotten this in our daily struggles to take care of all these things we have-or in our struggle to aquire more things. I need to read these accounts so I don't forget. Some of the sacrifices are larger than others. Opening your heart to a big family, answering God's call to preach the Gospel to the ends of the earth; enduring ridicule and discrimination because you hold to the moral truths of the Faith; embracing prison and martyrdom for the doctrines of the Faith and the chance to assist at Mass.
We have dealt in our books with other historical issues which impact the present (for example: the role of the laity in the Church, how the Church in America came to its present state and the road forward) - all in attempt to reinvigorate our dedication to our Lord.
For me, reading is the best way to do this. Reading opens a new world for me where my mind is still active in imagination and visualization. For others, listening to audio or watching movies may be the ticket. Hopefully readers will always be around.
Speaking of this, one book Requiem Press would like to do, either in entirety or in parts is Lives of the Irish Martyrs and Confessor (Also A Very Full and Complete History of the Penal Laws) by Myles O'Reilly (1878). But we have a full plate now, so it will have to wait a bit.
Here however is one excerpt:
CROMWELL landed on our shores in July, 1649, firmly resolved to acquire popularity among his fellow-Puritans by the extermination of the Irish papists. On his arrival in Dublin he addressed his soldiers, and declared that no mercy should be shown to the Irish, and that they should "be dealt with as the Canaanites in Joshua's time."
Drogheda was first attacked. It was defended by 3000 good troops, commanded by Sir Arthur Ashton, a Catholic. Three times did they repel the assaults of their 10,000 besiegers. At length, seeing further resistance useless, they surrendered on terms. Cromwell, writing to the Parliament, makes it a boast that, despite the promised quarter, he himself gave orders that all should be put to the sword; ("Our men were ordered by me to put them all to the sword." — Cromwell's Letter) and, in his Puritanical cant, he styles that brutal massacre a righteous judgment of God upon the barbarous wretches; a great mercy vouchsafed to us; a great thing, done, not by power or might, but by the spirit of God. The slaughter of the inhabitants continued for five days, and the Puritan troops spared neither age nor sex, so much so that the Earl of Ormond, writing to the secretary of Charles II, to convey the intelligence of the loss of Drogheda, declares that "Cromwell had exceeded himself, and anything he had ever heard of, in breach of faith and bloody inhumanity;" and the Parliamentarian General Ludlow speaks of it as an extraordinary severity. The church of St. Peter, within the city, had been for centuries a place of popular devotion; a little while before the siege the Catholics had reobtained possession of it, and dedicated it anew to the service of God, and the Holy Sacrifice was once more celebrated there with special pomp and solemnity. Thither many of the citizens now fled as to a secure asylum, and, with the clergy, prayed around the altar; but the Puritans respected no sanctuary of religion. "In this very place," writes Cromwell, "near one thousand of them were put to the sword. I believe all the friars* were killed but two, the one of which was Father Peter Taaffe, brother to Lord Taaffe, whom the soldiers took the next day, and made an end of; the other was taken in the round tower; he confessed he was a friar, but that did not save him."
We read in Johnston's History of Drogheda :
“Quarter had been promised to all those who should lay down their arms, but it was observed only until all resistance was at an end. Many, confiding in this promise, at once yielded themselves prisoners; and the rest, unwilling to trust to the mercy of Cromwell, took shelter in the steeple of St. Peter's; at the same time the most respectable of the inhabitants sheltered themselves within the church. Here Cromwell advanced, and, after some deliberation, concluded on blowing up the building. For this purpose he laid a quantity of powder in an old subterraneous passage, which was open, and went under the church; but, changing his resolution, he set fire to the steeple, and as the garrison rushed out to avoid the flames they were slaughtered. After this he ordered the inhabitants in the church to be put to the sword, among whom many of the Carmelites fell a sacrifice. He then plundered the building and defaced its principal ornaments."
Thomas Wood, one of the Puritan officers engaged in the massacre, relates that a multitude of the most defenceless inhabitants, comprising all the principal ladies of the city, were concealed in the crypts or vaults of the church ; thither the bloodhounds tracked them, and not even to one was mercy shown. Lord Clarendon also records that during the five days, while the streets of Drogheda ran with blood,* "the whole army executed all manner of cruelty, and put every man that related to the garrison, and all the citizens who were Irish — man, woman, and child — to the sword;" and Cromwell himself reckoned that "less than thirty of the defenders were not massacred."
Note: Down to the present century the street leading to St. Peter's Street retained the name of Bloody Street. It is the tradition of the place that the blood of those slain in the church formed a regular torrent town the street.
So, what are the Curley's doing for St. Patrick's day? Well for the morning we are in various places. Daughter is working in the morning. 3 sons are serving a funeral Mass with our beloved Irish pastor. Youngest ones are home with Dad pretending to work on cleaning up the house. Myself is supposed to be filling Requiem Press orders, but of course I am blogging. But I will get to it and then get some other work done around the house. I have however decreed that our Lenten sacrifices will cease at about 3:30 today and we will sing and eat and celebrate. We may go to the St. Paddy's day dinner at the parish this evening. This has not yet been finalized.
Last night we previewed the day by watching "The Quiet Man". If you haven't seen it, you must. Humor, love, fighting, and Catholicity, and John Wayne. What more could you want?