• Steve Isaac

Deconstructing St. Patrick

“Phoenix St. Patrick’s Day - We're willing to wager a few pounds, boy-o, that your eyes, Irish or otherwise, will be smiling in the days leading up to this year's celebration of Saint Patrick's Day and on the big day itself. Or, at the very least, they're going to be a wee bit bloodshot.

Given that the occasion falls on Tuesday, March 17, this year, the bars of the Valley will offer several days of Irish-inspired drinking and decadence during the weekend before, as well as some massive merriment on the actual drinking holiday.

We've put together a list of the best places to party around the Valley in honor of the occasion, and the list includes plenty of block parties and rowdy affair where you can dance to traditional Irish music or the hottest EDM tracks. And, yes, there will be plenty of green beer and funny hats involved with each of the following options.”

  • Long Live St. Patrick's Day. See How to Celebrate The Jameson® Way. Triple distilled · St. Patrick's Day spirit

  • St Patrick's Day Parade in Phoenix, AZ. - Phoenix St. Patrick's ... 32nd Annual St. Patrick's Day Parade & Irish Faire

  • Flogging Molly at Tempe Town Park - 11 Irish bands to get your music on. Say "Cheers" the Irish way! 8 Irish and Irish-influenced bands we love Celtic rockers who don't hail from Ireland!

  • Chicago is the greenest city in the world and home to the most authentic St. Patrick's Day celebration in America! The Chicago River goes green as 500 pounds of vegetable dye color the water between Columbus and Wacker drives. Then festivities continue on as revelers parade up Columbus Dr. with floats and flags to the sound of Irish bagpipes. The dyeing of the river has been a tradition for many generations and attracts thousands of people dressed in green to see the action live. And by thousands, we mean 400,000 of your closest Irish loving friends! Sadly the coloring only lasts for about five hours, so be sure to get there right when it happens!

  • From the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin – Celebrate Irelands patron saint the Irish way! Pour your own Pint of Ireland’s Finest Brew – Food Sampling – Live Music – Storytelling – Flash Mob – Live Marching Band – Tours of the Original Guinness Storehouse – Whales vs. Ireland Rugby Match - And More…

Deconstruction Context

A lot of St. Paddy’s day fun! Of course it is… done in green, good taste, and moderation St. Patrick’s Day is one of the worlds most celebrated annual parties.

But is this where it all began for the St. Patrick’s Day, or even St. Patrick for that matter? The obvious is no. The answer to how did it become the trite and trivial alcohol induced party that it has become today is also quite obvious. But the deconstruction process that enables such loss of meaning and significance, along with the truth about St. Patrick is worthy of more than just a tiny leprechaun, a four-leaf clover, a pot-o-gold, a bowl of Lucky Charms, an Irish chuckle and a pint of green beer. It is a common process by which our current world diminishes and reduces much the significant, sacrificial and meaningful traditions and heritages of not only culture but of our Christian faith in God as well.

Let’s start with this… to deconstruct something is not to destroy or blow up something. To deconstruct is to slowly take apart or dismantle something that has taken time, sacrifice, and treasure to build. The subtle ideas of deconstruction have come to the western culture from the earliest days of the Ages of Enlightenment – and perfected in the Age of Agnosticism. Basically a four-hundred year process that was intended to methodically and persistently deconstruct the historical events and philosophical ideology that challenged and secularist and humanist ideologies. I have chosen St Patrick’s Day to illustrate how the deconstruction process has worked. I also want to issue a warning to all of us to not allow the history and tradition of what is most important and meaningful to foundations of our faith and belief in Jesus Christ.

St. Patrick

Contrary to article written this past year that St. Patrick was actually never canonized as a saint by the Catholic Church I offer you this actual historical evidence.

On June 9, 1186, no less than 15 Bishops, many abbots and high dignitaries and a great gathering of clergy and laity witnessed the official Solemn Translation of the relics of St. Patrick, St. Columcille, and St. Brigid, at Downpatrick. According to the account in the Royal Society of Antiquities of Ireland published in 1933, The ceremony was carried out with great pomp, some of the relics were enshrined and placed on the high Altar and some were brought back to Rome. Apparently the Church took this opportunity to retrieve a few relics to share with others wishing to venerate our patron saint, and appropriate shrine cases were made to house the relics. Most of St. Patrick’s remains were re-interred at Downpatrick.

However that is not the true or even significance of St. Patrick. The following is…

When history recalls the ancient Irish, the words civilized and cultured are never the language and description used. They are remembered as a passionate and vibrant, but illiterate and barbaric as well. Often the ancient Irish are referred to as charming, wild, impulsive, passionate, hot-tempered, corrupt, repressed, and unafraid, but never civilized or cultured - lol! In the grand scheme of Christian history however this people group from a tiny island on the edge of Europe had one of the more glorious moments in the developing years of Christianity. Around 600 A. D. the Empire of unparalleled power, and the great cities of the “Roman way” were ransacked, burned, and laid waste. The Germanic barbarians and heathen Gaul’s rushed through these great cities destroying civic buildings, libraries, and many of the great churches. They burned every book, scroll, or written content they could possibly get there hands on. They also destroyed any historical artifacts they could find. For all intent and purpose they “looted history.” But it was during this time, the Irish who were just learning to read and write, amazingly took on the mission of rescuing western literature. Faithfully and meticulously they copied everything they could get their hands on. Day after day, month after month, year after year Ireland would send these young monastic converts of Christianity as missionaries to the great cities of the Roman Empire where history was literally being destroyed. These Irish missionaries would return to the remote monasteries that began on the tiny Isle of Iona with volumes of rescued books, literature and manuscripts. Then they would begin the tedious and difficult process of diligently and methodically copying, translating and accurately rewriting all of western history (of which included most all of the known Christian literature to that date). These same Irish monks and scribes went on to introduce and evangelize Europe to the Christian ways of life, faith, and Christ-like thinking. How did this historical salvation come about? It all began 200 years earlier. At the conception and heart of this mission was Ireland’s first missionary. His name was Patricius.

Partricius or Patrick (as we now call him), brought to Ireland the gift of Christianity. Not just any Christianity but a Christian belief that was for the first time de-Romanized. A faith in God and the Gospels of Christ that was free for the first time in history of the Socia-Cristo-Politca (my own word creation) ideology of the Greco-Roman world. Patrick was born in Britain. At 16, (along with many other young boys) Patrick was kidnapped, enslaved, and brought to Ireland by an Irish king. These slave boys were sold by the king to wealthy land-owners and placed in remote mountainous regions alone to live and work as shepherds. He lived a life of physical hunger and poverty, while each day he grew in spiritual strength. He prayed each day to God for deliverance, he prayed for his family, he prayed for courage and for knowledge of the truth. Patrick would later write, “As a shepherd boy I would pray a hundred times each day, and at least as many times at night before I cried myself to sleep.” One night after prayer he fell asleep only to be awakened to a voice that said to him, “Your hungers are rewarded, you are going home. Look your ship is ready”! He was nowhere near the sea, but he got up and started walking. Miraculously Patrick was not stopped, detained or confronted by a soul until he had reached seaport. It was later discovered that he had walked some two hundred miles from his place of enslavement. At seaport he was able to find ship transportation as a stow-away and returned to Britain and his family. Patrick who was no longer a boy now, but a young man living a holy life of vision, courage, and faith. His next few years at home were awkward and unsettled and his education was far behind that of his peers, but he continued his formal education and spiritual studies. Sometime in his early forties Patrick has a vision. In his vision, a man he had once known in Ireland visits Patrick. The man is crying and holding a letter that he delivers to Patrick to read. It letter says, “We beg you come and walk among us again.” He responds to this vision and divine messenger as a call from God and returns to Ireland, only this time not as a slave, but as an ordained Bishop. Ironically, it was Pope Celestine of the Christian (Catholic) Church who ordained Patrick and commissioned his return to Ireland.

As I said earlier, at this time Ireland was an illiterate and barbaric society formed around the sole ideology of conquest. The conquests are of strength, sex, and superstition. There were no boundaries for these people, only victories and defeat. Yet, Patrick by the power of the Holy Spirit evangelized this nation for Christ, and before his death he was a living witness to an Irish nation that boldly proclaimed complete allegiance and faith in God. Along with the message of Christ, Patrick delivered the message of learning to read and write. Hundreds upon hundreds of young men received Christ, and became obedient to the call of the Christian priesthood, as Irish monasteries were established and filled the mountains and shorelines of Ireland. From these young converts were those who would become priests, monks, bishops, and pastors. They would continue by the power of God, and inspiration of Patrick, to lead the spiritual and educational revolution of this nation. They would lead the mission of rescuing significant and essential religious and historical western literature. In doing so they would substantially contribute to insuring the authentic delivery of the truth of Christ’s Gospel, and the history of Christian faith to another age and another world - our world.

Conclusion

The fact that we today celebrate St. Patrick in a way that is not even remotely close to the facts and life of who he was and what he lived his life for is evidence of the “deconstruction process” that exists in our western culture for sure. What other important and significant historical based traditions of culture and Christianity are we losing to the deconstruction process? What will history say about us? That we lost and did not protect our history or, that in spite of an aggressive spirit of deconstructionism that flooded our time in history that we held firm to our godly traditions of faith and family?

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