‘Happy St. Patrick’s Day’ di The Arab News

Hanya iseng saya saja membaca The Arab News dan menemukan sedikit ulasan mengenai St Patrick. Agak sedikit mengherankan di Negara Muslim memuat ulasan mengenai “perayaan” Kristen. Tentunya why not?

‘Happy St. Patrick’s Day’

Published: Mar 17, 2011 00:26 Updated: Mar 17, 2011 00:58

Everybody’s Irish on St Patrick’s Day. It is not just the Irish president who says so. People around the world who for the rest of the year have no known Irish ancestors will have woken up with a strong sense of Irishness and an even stronger sense to party because of it. They may be African American or Greek Australian, or Indian or Saudi, but today there is a little bit of them that suddenly becomes Irish. There are parades and parties worldwide as a result.

Little is known of Patrick’s early life. He was not originally Irish, nor was his name Patrick. That was adopted later. He was born in the north of Britain in the 4th century, when it was still part of the Roman empire into a Romano-British family of some local importance. His father was a centurion and a deacon. In his own writings he says he was born in a place called Banna Venta Berniae but until very recently no one knew where that was. It has now been identified following archaeological discoveries with Birdosward fort near Carlisle, just a few kilometers from the English-Scottish border. At the age of sixteen, he was kidnapped by Irish raiders and taken to Ireland as a slave. He escaped and returned home but in 432 he went back to Ireland to bring the Christian faith to the Irish.

St. Patrick’s Day is the anniversary of his death in 461. The Irish have observed this day as a festival for over a twelve hundred years. It has now become Ireland’s national day, a date as important in the Irish calendar as the July 4 is in the American one or July 14 in the French one.



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