Come Celebrate Saint Patrick's Day the Celtic Arts Center Way! - 7pm Monday, March 12, 2018 at the Mayflower Club

Join the Celtic Arts Center for a
St. Patrick's Day Celebration!
Monday, March 12, 2018 at 7PM

A real Irish Seisiún & Potluck presented by the Celtic Arts Center
at The Mayflower Club @ 11110 Victory Blvd. in North Hollywood, CA.

The evening will feature...

Bring your spouse/partner, your kids, your grand-parents, and even your neighbors! Please also consider bringing a traditional Irish dish as a contribution for the potluck. Brown bread is especially welcome! The Mayflower Club's bar will be open and selling your favorite refreshments.

This is as authentic as an Irish celebration gets! We hope to see you all there!

Who was St. Patrick?

St. Patrick is well known as the Patron Saint of Ireland — but many may not know that he was not a born Irish. Despite that, he has become an integral part of Irish heritage, mostly through his service across Ireland of the 5th Century.

The man who would become St. Patrick was born in the later half of the 4th Century AD in Roman-occupied Britain. He was the son of a former Roman military officer (Calpurnius?) and a native British woman. Maewyn Succat (his given name) and he was baptized as "Patricius" (Latin for 'well-born'). There are differing views about the exact year and place of his birth. Some scholars believe he was born around 390 AD and others believe it was earlier, around 373 AD. Some believe the birthplace was either in lowlands near the River Clyde and the Antonine Wall (Dumbarton), while others speculate that it may have been somewhere along the west coast of Britain between Luguvallium and and Deva, and some say it was one of the coastal villages in Wales. Patricius grew up as child in a privileged and educated household in 4th Century Romanized Britain.

However all that would change when one day a band of marauding Irish pirates hit the coast of western Britain and attacked his family's villa, kidnapping the teenager along with hundreds of other people. They were taken back to the east coast of Ireland and sold off as slaves. Patricius was sold to Miliucc, one of the many kings of Ireland in what may have been northwest Ireland. He was there for 6 years where he was forced into servitude out in the fields tending flocks of sheep. He didn't speak Irish at first, and probably was beaten when he didn't understand and follow the commands of his owner. After learning his tasks and getting a grasp on what would keep him out of trouble and in good graces with his overseers, he was probably left to himself. Out on the hills of Antrim, he had a lot of solitude to ponder his situation. He was trapped in a foreign land, both beautiful and rustic. It was a land full of strange folk traditions and a very different language being spoken (he probably spoke Latin with smatterings of proto-Welsh or British P-Celtic language). The Irish lived in a world of faery and superstition, and practiced a pagan religion. Ruled by warring and raiding chieftains, they were governed by ancient law and lived in a caste system. Slavery, cattle raids, piracy, land wars, strife and toil were mixed in with wild beauty. The order, structure, and 'civitas' of Romanized Britain was nowhere to be found. Christianity as he knew it could not be seen out in the west of Ireland (though it may have been brought to some parts of the south and east of the Isle). This was when change came to him. He dreamed of having seen God. Legend says, he was then dictated by God to escape with a getaway ship.

Finally, he did escape and returned to Britain. Things most likely had changed while he was away and most of the native Britons were struggling to maintain land rights and law and order during and after the withdrawal of the Roman garrisons back to Gaul. Seeking his family and searching for the lifestyle he could not find in the chaos that consumed Britain, Patrick followed the Roman legions and crossed the English Channel to Roman-occupied Gaul. There he joined a monastery and studied under Germanus, the Bishop of Auxerre (St. Germaine). He spent around 12 years in training. When he became a bishop he dreamed that the Irish were calling him back to Ireland to tell them about the Christian God. The Confessio, Patrick's spiritual autobiography, is the most important document regarding this. It tells of a dream after his return to Britain, in which one Victoricus delivered him a letter headed "The Voice of the Irish." His wish to return to Ireland and convert the Irish to Christianity had to wait when his superiors decided to send St. Palladius to Ireland instead. After two years, Palladius was transferred to Scotland and Patrick was appointed as the second bishop of Ireland.

So he set out for Ireland with the Pope's blessings. There he converted the Irish, who were then mostly pagans, to Christianity. He was confident in his work, he journeyed far and wide, baptizing and confirming with untiring zeal. And, in a diplomatic fashion he brought gifts to small kings here and land owners there, but accepted none from any. Indeed, Patrick was quite successful at winning converts. Through active preaching, he made important converts among the royal families and some chieftains. Some of the new teachings conflicted with or usurped the jurisdiction of Brehon Law and generations of traditions. This fact upset the druids who were the learned priests and judges of the Irish people for millennia. Patrick fought with them and was arrested several times, but somehow escaped prosecution each time.

Patrick's doctrine was considered part of Pope Celestine's orthodoxy and has been interpreted as anti-Pelagian. Some theorize that Bishop Patricius was sent to Ireland to quell any possible spread of Pelagianism which the Church authorities deemed heretical. Although he is not particularly noted as a man of learning, a few of his writings remain extant: his Confessio, a reply to his detractors and several letters. An Faeth Fiada or "The Lorica of St. Patrick" (aka St. Patrick's Breast-Plate), a famous hymn which is attributed to Patrick, but may actually date to a later period. For two decades he traveled throughout Ireland, establishing monasteries across the country. He also set up schools and churches which would aid him in his conversion. He developed a native clergy, fostered the growth of monasticism, established dioceses, and held church councils. His mission in Ireland lasted for over 20 years. After that time, Patrick retired to County Down. He died on March 17 in 461 AD.

For more information about St. Patrick and the holiday, you may want to check out the History Channel's videos and coverage of the celebrations around the world.