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15 Mar

Is St. Patrick’s Day a Catholic Holiday?

St. Patrick’s Day 2019 is upon us, which is a big deal when you are in or around New York City. Besides hosting the oldest and largest St. Patrick’s Day parade in the world on March 16, 2019, New York City features numerous festivities to celebrate this special day. Many people are familiar with St. Patrick’s Day as a celebration of Irish heritage where people will wear green, eat traditional Irish food and visit Irish pubs. However, amidst all the Irish celebrations, St. Patrick’s Day is also a day that is very special to the Catholic Church.

St. Patrick’s Day and Christianity

Every year, March 17th commemorates St. Patrick as the Patron Saint of Ireland and the missionary credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland. In Ireland, St. Patrick’s Day is a public holiday and holy day of obligation. It was said that St. Patrick used a shamrock, or a three-leafed clover, to explain to the people of Ireland the concept of the holy trinity, or three persons in one God. Ever since then, the shamrock has become a symbol of Ireland and St. Patrick’s Day.

St. Patrick’s Breastplate, The Prayer of Protection

According to wikipedia, this prayer outlines St. Patrick’s spirituality and awareness of the importance of praying for protection on a daily basis.

“I arise today through
God’s strength to pilot me, God’s might to uphold me,
God’s wisdom to guide me, God’s eye to see before me,
God’s ear to hear me, God’s word to speak for me,
God’s hand to guard me, God’s way to lie before me,
God’s shield to protect me, God’s host to secure me –
against snares of devils,
against temptations and vices,
against inclinations of nature,
against everyone who shall wish me
ill, afar and near,
along and in a crowd…

Christ, be with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left, Christ where I lie, Christ where I sit,
Christ where I arise, Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me, Christ in every ear that hears me.

Salvation is of the Lord.
Salvation is of the Lord.
Salvation is of the Christ.
May your salvation, O Lord, be ever with us.

We Wish you a Happy St. Patrick’s Day

However you choose to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, we hope you enjoy your day. If you are in New York City and would like to spend the night, we’d love to welcome you to The Leo House.

You might also be interested in reading:

The Best Places to Watch the NYC St. Patrick’s Day Parade

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