Happy St. Patrick’s Day 2024!

Shamrock Image by Jenneth Graser from Pixabay

Today on the old style (Julian) calendar, we celebrate the 5th century St. Patrick of Ireland. He is also known as St. Patrick, Bishop of Armagh, Enlightener of Ireland. (March 17th falls 13 days later on the Julian Calendar)

Here are some fascinating historical documents about St. Patrick, written by the 7th century monk Muirchú from the Royal Irish Academy.

Icons of St. Patrick often show him holding a three-leafed shamrock growing on a single stem, he used this to illustrate the Holy Trinity – our One God in Three Persons.

St. Patrick wrote many hymns. Here is an excerpt from a beautiful, longer hymn, the Lorica (Breastplate) of St. Patrick. “I bind unto myself today, the Strong Name of the Trinity! By Invocation of the same, the Three in One, and One in Three!”   ~ St. Patrick

Abbreviated Lorica Hymn of St. Patrick’s Prayer, recorded and sung below, by our Youth Choir in 2019.

One of his many miracles: During a perilous journey to share the Christian faith in King Loegaire’s territory, the saint discovered they were in mortal danger of an ambush. He prayed the Lorica Prayer, and to those lying in ambush, the saint and his company of monks appeared to them as if they were wild deer, and not humans. Because of this miracle, the Lorica Prayer is also known as The Deer’s Cry.

The early fifth century Enlightenment of Ireland by St. Patrick and his brethren, has been called the most successful single missionary venture in the history of the church.  

A short recording by my GG’s

Today is also the 4th anniversary of my first Blisswood posting (A Shamrock Day) which fell upon St. Patrick’s Day in 2020! Thank you for visiting!

Below are two easy, tasty, recipes to celebrate St. Patrick’s day – or any day!

An online Plant Based Colcannon (Potato/Cabbage) Side Dish Recipe, and…

Here’s my own, new, Sweet’n Savory Irish Beer Bread Recipe!

May Christ’s Divine Joy and Peace fill our hearts – as we strive to live in the awareness of His Glorious Presence.

Holy St. Patrick, pray to God for us!

Great Lent/Holy Week/Pascha – Resource

Past Posts Resource

Wishing you all the Bright Joys of the Fast!
May your journey to Pascha be Peaceful and Fruitful!

A Touch of Green on Forgiveness Sunday

Image by Kerstin Riemer from Pixabay

Today there are many celebrations!

It is Forgiveness Sunday and tomorrow is the first day of Great Lent (Orthodox Style).

Pascha (Easter) comes late this year. (May 5th)

Today is also St. Owen’s Day (March 17/4)!

On the new style calendar, today is also St. Patrick of Ireland. (The equivalent Julian calendar date for March 17th is 13 days later – on March 30th)

Here are some fascinating historical documents about St. Patrick, written by the 7th century monk Muirchú from the Royal Irish Academy.

Icons of St. Patrick often show him holding a three-leafed shamrock growing on a single stem, he used this to illustrate the Holy Trinity – our One God in Three Persons.

St. Patrick wrote many hymns. Here is an excerpt from a beautiful, longer hymn, the Lorica (Breastplate) of St. Patrick. “I bind unto myself today, the Strong Name of the Trinity! By Invocation of the same, the Three in One, and One in Three!”   ~ St. Patrick

Abbreviated Lorica Hymn of St. Patrick’s Prayer, recorded and sung below, by our Youth Choir in 2019.

As today is Forgiveness Sunday, I’ll conclude with sincerely asking your forgiveness… For any offense I may have given to any of my readers/subscribers, at any time.

God Forgives!

May our Lenten Journey ahead, be Peaceful and Fruitful!

Another (very short) recording of St. Patrick’s Prayer sung outside, by my GG’s a few years ago. The precious robin chirping at the end… was totally unrehearsed!

Spiritual Blossoms of the Isles

Heath blooming at Lochinver, Scotland – by Ivor Bond from Pixabay

On the third Sunday after Pentecost we honour all the saints who, during the first millennium, have shone forth from England, Ireland, Wales, Cornwall and Scotland.

Being of Scottish and Irish heritage, this Sunday is very special to me.

Timeline of Orthodoxy in the British Isles

A Brief History of Orthodox England

We magnify thee, O all ye saints who have shone forth in the Isles, and we honour thy holy memory, for ye intercede with Christ our God on our behalf. ~ Saints of the British Isles Magnification

All Ye Saints of the British Isles pray to God for us!

From the ends of the earth, O Lord, the Isles of the Sea offer Thee all the saints who have shone forth therein as the fair fruit of Thy salvific splendour. Through their supplications and through the Theotokos, preserve Thy Church and Thine Isles in the profoundest peace, O most Merciful One. ~ Festal Troparion for All the Saints of the British Isles

Today the choirs of the saints who have pleased God in the Isles, standeth in the Church and invisibly prayeth to God for us. With them the angels give glory; and all the saints of the Church of Christ celebrate with them, and all together they beseech the Pre-Eternal God for us. ~ Kontakion Tone 3

The saints are shown to be fair blossoms of the Garden of Eden, laden with the nectar of good works and the sweet scent of Orthodox teachings, whereby our souls are fed and our spiritual thirst is quenched, Come ye therefore, let us hasten beneath their shade and let us bless them as the delight and adornment of the Isles, and as a model and pattern for our lives, for they have received unfading crowns of glory and all together they beseech the Pre-Eternal God for us. ~ Ikos

Let all the ranks of saints and angels make glad with us, singing in spiritual choir. They have beheld Our Sovereign, the Queen of Heaven and Lady of the Isles, Who is glorified by all the faithful. And the souls of all the righteous celebrate with them, beholding Her most precious hands stretched forth in supplication beseeching peace for the world, renewal of the Orthodox Faith in the Isles and the salvation of our souls. ~ Stichera of the Saints of the British Isles, Tone 8

O Queen of heaven and Lady of the Isles, to pray to God for us!

Happy 3rd Day of the Holy Spirit!

Image by Joe from Pixabay

As Children of Light, may we (with purpose and gratitude) strive to reflect the Holy Trinity’s Joyous, Gladsome Light- on all whom we meet today – and every day… The Three in One and One in Three!

The Holy Spirit has always been, is now and ever shall be, having neither beginning nor end, but one with the Father and the Son: life and life giving; goodness itself and source of goodness, through Whom the Father is made known and the Son is glorified, and is known by all: one power, one unity, one worship, of the Holy Trinity. ~ Pentecost Vespers

I praise the Godhead, unity in three persons, for the Father is light, the Son is light, and the Spirit is light; but the light remains undivided, shining forth in oneness of nature; yet in the three rays of the persons! ~ Matins, Sunday of the Cross

Come, O ye people, let us worship the Godhead in Three Hypostasis: the Son in the Father, with the Holy Spirit; for the Father timelessly begat the Son Who is Co-eternal and Equal in Majesty, and the Holy Spirit was in the Father, glorified together with the Son; One Might, One Essence, One Godhead. In worshipping Whom let us all say: O Holy God, Who madest all things by the Son, through the cooperation of the Holy Spirit; Holy Mighty, through Whom we have known the Father, and through Whom the Holy Spirit came into the world; Holy Immortal, the Comforting Spirit, Who proceedest from the Father, and restest in the Son: O Holy Trinity, glory be to Thee. ~ Dogmaticon of Great Vespers of Pentecost

Sung by the GG’s

When asked to explain the mystery of the Holy Trinity in a simple manner, 5th century St. Patrick of Ireland used a tiny shamrock (a low growing plant of the clover family) with its three lobed leaves on a single stem, to demonstrate how God the Father- God the Son- and God the Holy Spirit are the Holy Trinity; Three in One, One in Three… Undivided. St. Patrick wrote many hymns. Above is an excerpt from a beautiful, longer hymn. “I bind unto myself today, the Strong Name of the Trinity! By Invocation of the same, the Three in One, and One in Three!” 

May your fast-free week of the Afterfeast be peaceful and fruitful!

I Arise Today

Sunrise Over Ocean Through UV Window Shade Forms Fiery Cross ~ Photo shared by Irena

I arise today,
through the strength of heaven;
light of sun, radiance of moon,
splendour of fire, speed of lightning,
swiftness of wind, depth of the sea,
stability of earth, firmness of rock.

I arise today,
through God’s strength to pilot me;
God’s eye to look before me,
God’s wisdom to guide me,
God’s way to lie before me,
God’s shield to protect me,
from all who shall wish me ill,
afar and a-near
alone and in a multitude.

Against every cruel merciless power
that may oppose my body and soul,

Christ 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 when I lie down, Christ when I sit down,
Christ when I arise, Christ to shield me.

Christ in the heart of every one who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of every one who speaks of me,

I arise today.

~ St. Patrick of Ireland ☘️

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

March 30/17

I just received this joyful golden Lenten Lily (Daffodil) photo from a dear (anonymous) friend this morning, along with beautiful heart-warming greetings, which I’m allowed to share.

May you be Protected and Inspired by Real Gold – God’s Promises, and the Mystical Enlightenment of St. Patrick – today and always.

Another friend has sent me this about St. Patrick, written by the 7th century monk Muirchú from the Royal Irish Academy.

Today, St. Patrick’s Day March 30/17 (Julian), is also the second anniversary of the beginning of my Blisswood “Posts” section.

Thank you so much for visiting!

Through the holy prayers of St. Patrick may this day of your Lenten Journey, be particularly peaceful and fruitful.

With love in Christ.

Gabhaim Molta Bríghde 

An Ancient Irish Chapel – Image by Josef Kotarba Pixabay

Gabhaim Molta Bríghde  (pronounced gaw-im molta breejya) means I Give Praise to St. Brigid.

Greetings on St. Brigid of Ireland’s Feast Day!

Along with St. Patrick, Holy St. Brigid is the Patroness and Protector of Ireland.

Here is a link to my simple folk song praising St. Brigid of Ireland.

The YouTube video below is a Gaelic Folk Song about St. Brigid, with an English Translation in the description section. The lineage of Gabhaim Molta Bríghde’s ancient, traditional melody and lyrics are from “unknown sources” however this arrangement of Sheet Music is sometimes attributed to Tomás Ó Flannghaile (Thomas Flannery), 1846-1916.

Gaelic with English Translation

Here is a fascinating article with excellent photos by Clare Monardo, describing An Exploration of the Holy Wells of St. Brigid. (What a wonderful pilgrimage this would make!)

A Gift of Hospitality – St. Brigid Abbess of Kildare.

On St. Brigid’s Day, it can be traditional to enjoy the Irish fare of oat bannocks, colcannon, barm brack, and perhaps a wee draught of beer.

How to make a St. Brigid Cross, woven from rushes. (Thank you for sharing your newly woven St. Brigid’s Rush Cross, Irena and Juliana!)

St. Brigid’s association with the miracles of fire and the closeness of her day to tomorrow’s Feast of the Meeting of our Lord in the Temple (also known as Candlemas), are closely linked.

On St. Brigid’s day, we celebrate Christ, the Light unto all Nations – the Eternal Spring Who draws nigh to all.

Troparion of Venerable Mother Brigid, Enlightener of Ireland (Tone 4): Instructed by the discourses of the holy Patrick, thou didst arrive at the utmost west, heralding the Orient which hath visited us from on high. Wherefore, we bless thee, O venerable mother Brigid, and cry out to thee: Pray thou in behalf of souls.

Kontakion of Venerable Mother Brigid, Enlightener of Ireland (Tone 6): Rejecting thy noble rank, and loving the godly monastic life, from the wood of the oak didst thou raise up a convent, the first in thy land; and having there united a multitude of nuns to God, thou didst teach the surrounding lands to cry to the Lord: Have mercy on us!

St. Brigid continues to bestow blessings upon those who come to her with faith, interceding with Christ our God, that He may have mercy on our souls.

Three in One

Image by Nhân Nguyễn from Pixabay

As the Holy Trinity, our God is One Being, although Three Persons, so, likewise, we ourselves must be one. As our God is indivisible, we also must be indivisible, as though we were one man, one mind, one will, one heart, one goodness, without the smallest admixture of malice – in a word, one pure love, as God is Love. “That they may be one, even as We are One.” (St. John 17:22) ~ St. John of Kronstadt.

…we shall begin… by applying identical expressions to the Three. ‘He was the true light that enlightens every man coming into the world’ (St. John 1:9) – yes, the Father. ‘He was the true light that enlightens every man coming into the world’ -yes, the Son. ‘He was the true light that enlightens every man coming into the world’ -yes, the Comforter. These are the three subjects and three verbs – He was and He was and He was. But a single reality was. There are three predicates – light and light and light. But the light is one, God is one. This is the beginning of David’s prophetic vision: ‘In Your light shall we see light’ (Psalm 36:9). We receive the Son’s light from the Father’s light in the light of the Spirit: that is what we ourselves have seen and what we now proclaim – it is the plain and simple explanation of the Trinity. ~St. Gregory Nazianzus (On Christ and God, Oration 31:3)

The three-leafed shamrock on a single stem, was used by 5th century St. Patrick to illustrate the Holy Trinity – our One God in Three Persons. St. Patrick wrote many hymns. Here is a short excerpt from a longer, beautiful hymn. “I bind unto myself today, the Strong Name of the Trinity! By Invocation of the same, the Three in One, and One in Three!”   

St. Patrick Enlightener of Ireland

Thank you Vera, for sharing the St. Patrick icon!

St. Patrick is so beloved and well-known, that I’m posting this today… for both calendars (March 17/March 30).

St. Patrick led an amazing life. Born in Scotland around the year 385 AD, he was the son of a deacon and the grandson of a priest. Patrick wasn’t particularly religious during his youth, but he lived a quiet life.

That all changed at the age of sixteen, when he was kidnapped by pirates raiding the British coast. Taken to Ireland and sold as a slave, Patrick spent the next six years as a herder on an isolated mountain.

Labouring in solitude, he remembered the faith of his youth, and turned to prayer, finding solace in God. Patrick had a vision revealing he would soon be free and that a ship would be waiting for him. An opportunity arose for his escape, and he fled… traveling many days on foot, until he reached the coast to find the ship from his vision, preparing to sail to Gaul (France).

St. Patrick studied for several years in a monastery under the holy Bishop Germanus. He was ordained a priest and eventually consecrated a bishop. St. Patrick had another vision, that the people in the land of his captors were calling him back to Eire. St. Patrick understood that this was to be his mission… he was to return to Ireland and help establish the Church there. He was one of several missionaries who arrived in Ireland around 432 AD. 

When asked to explain the mystery of the Holy Trinity in a simple manner, St. Patrick used a tiny shamrock (a low growing plant of the clover family) with its three lobed leaves on a single stem, to demonstrate how God the Father- God the Son- and God the Holy Spirit are the Holy Trinity; Three in One, One in Three… Undivided.

Lorica of St. Patrick sung by the GG’s (Abridged Version)

Once, during his travels, he destroyed an idol where human sacrifices would occur. This idol sat on a large rock. When the saint struck the idol with his crozier (bishop staff), the idol crumbled to dust, and the imprint of the crozier remained upon the rock.

As a bishop he faced many struggles and dangers, including hostility from those loyal to the pagan gods. With God’s help, St. Patrick worked through these obstacles while guiding his flock, and baptising new converts. St. Patrick prayed tirelessly, and continued his work of establishing churches and monasteries. It is said he chanted the entire Psalter every day.

His writings include several works of prayers, and letters. One of these prayers is well known as the Lorica (Breastplate) of St. Patrick… A prayer for protection.

During a perilous journey to share the Christian faith in King Loegaire’s territory, the saint discovered they were in mortal danger of an ambush. He prayed the Lorica Prayer, and to those lying in ambush, the saint and his company of monks appeared to them as if they were wild deer, and not humans. Because of this miracle, the Lorica Prayer is also known as The Deer’s Cry.

The early fifth century Enlightenment of Ireland by St. Patrick and his brethren, has been called the most successful single missionary venture in the history of the church.  

This post is collected from various sources over the years… and are but a smidgeon of the countless, wondrous, and miraculous events, regarding the life of St. Patrick, Enlightener of Ireland.

Today we also celebrate the 7th century British St. Owen of Lichfield.

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