While most of us claim to be Irish this one day of the year, (even if it is nowhere to be found in our ancestry!), the real reason for all of the celebration is the anniversary of the death of a great holy missionary and bishop, Saint Patrick of Ireland.
From year to year, this has always been a favorite feast day to celebrate in our house. The children always start the day off wearing green to ensure they don’t get pinched!
Once morning chores were completed, and while I prepared breakfast, the children snatched Dad’s Blackberry Playbook and learned a little about Saint Patrick thanks to the lovely folks at Veggie Tales:
(Got to love the adorable video full of valuable lessons!)
After viewing, my daughter used a printable map from The Story of the World: History for the Classical Child, Activity Book 2: The Middle Ages, (our history spine for this year), to map out the the trek of Saint Patrick from England to Ireland to France back to Ireland again.
(Given his time, he was quite the traveled man!)
We then feasted on breakfast Shamrock Toasties. We enjoyed these little guys last year for lunch. This year, with the addition of some scrambled eggs, they made an excellent open faced breakfast sandwich!
The bell pepper shamrock that topped the Toasties sparked a discussion of the Blessed Trinity and how St. Patrick used a simple three leaf clover to help illustrate this mystery of our faith. The addition of the Blessed Trinity Shamrock worksheet I created last year was useful yet again to help further cement this little lesson.
(I think next year the addition of A Picture of God :3 in 1 by Joanne Marxhausen will be a welcomed treat to further explain the Blessed Trinity to the children. Thank you Erika for sharing this “new to me” book!)
While the children were cutting and pasting the leaves to their Blessed Trinity Shamrocks, Dad choose a few books from our book basket to read aloud.
The children always enjoy the feast days that Dad is able to join us in celebrating. With his work and travel schedule, it is a treat to have him home! They loved being able to hear him read Patrick: Patron Saint of Ireland by Tomie De Paola and Saint Patrick by Ann Tompert this year instead of Mom!
After Dad wrapped up the readings and discussion of the books, we all decided to trek on downtown to enjoy our city’s Saint Patrick’s Day Mass and Parade. We are blessed to live in a predominately Catholic city, with the Cathedral of our archdiocese nestled in the historic district being flooded with a sea of Irish Emerald jackets of the Friendly Sons of Saint Patrick every March 17th.
The Mass offered by the Archbishop is always followed by a parade that begins on the steps of the Cathedral after the participants are blessed.
We are so lucky to be able to see this feast day
celebrated in all of it’s religious glory!
After watching the sea of Emerald flood the streets, we returned home from the parade to a picnic lunch on the patio of a fruit rainbow, (which I wasn’t able to snap a photo of before the blue and violet stripes disappeared!), and the flag of Ireland.
Just before bed we prayed the Irish blessing. I have fond memories from high school of this prayer being recited by Mr. McAtee every Friday afternoon at the closing of the school day. I think we may have to implement this forgotten tradition into our own homeschool!
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.
Happy Feast of Saint Patrick!
Do you hail form the Emerald Isle or at least claim to be today? I’d love to hear of your celebrations!