Happy feast day of Saint Patrick to the joy-filled, engaging community of Catholic 365 writers; along with everyone who wants to read my spontaneous written expressions! I would question who doesn’t love to celebrate Saint Patrick, the beloved bishop of the Emerald Isle? He is a saint that is vastly known and loved! Americans generally take a pause from ordinary tasks on March 17th ( or the week before or after) to celebrate in some extraordinary way!
Anything from preparing corned beef and cabbage for a family meal, enjoying a pint of Guinness with friends, experiencing city parades brimming with Saint Paddy’s Day celebrations, baking Irish soda bread for loved ones, listening to familiar Celtic music, wearing green for the day, or treating your grandchildren to Shamrock shakes- the list of “ways to celebrate” goes on and on! These indulgences are a part of Irish American history!
If you are a church going Catholic then the most authentic way to honor Saint Patrick during the Lenten season is to attend mass on his feast day! It is there that you will find a steadfast companion for the journey, a loving apostle who modelled the “ Good Shepherd” all the days of his life as bishop of the “Irish people”.
Patrick is the name of my warm-hearted younger brother who has often inspired me throughout life! It is also the name of a dear and faithful friend of our family who shares his Catholic faith every Sunday evening with family and friends in a webinar co-hosted by his wife. It is in the church of Saint Patrick that my beloved children received their first Holy Communion, and it is the name given to my Irish paternal great- grandfather! One of the most amazing discoveries I have made is learning more about the Catholic faith from Patrick’s wife, my late great-grandmother Delia. She was a woman of pure Irish grit!
To be honest, if I simply judged my great-grandmother based on how she appeared in our family photo albums; or from some of the nutty stories of her shenanigans ; I would have missed an exquisite, grace-filled woman, and a solid way for me to grow in holiness each day.
Delia did look stern and intimidating in some of her photos. But truly, there was so much more to her. It wasn’t until I found a treasured funeral mass holy card some years ago that I discovered DIVINE LOVE in her story. On May 13, 1936 as Delia passed away from this earth ; the Heavenly Father in his goodness was already thinking of me! God had it all planned from the beginning of time! My middle name would be Delia, I would have an essential role as this lovely lady’s great-granddaughter, the honor of being Delia’s only son’s granddaughter & goddaughter, and a loving member of Patrick and Delia’s clan; called to share this sacred prayer with you for the feast of Saint Patrick, 2023!
Great- Grandma Delia’s “ Irish grit” prayer
O gentlest Heart of Jesus, ever present in the Blessed Sacrament, ever consumed with burning love for the poor captive souls in Purgatory have mercy on the soul of Thy departed servant. Be not severe in Thy judgement but let some drops of Thy Precious Blood fall upon the devouring flames, and do Thou O Merciful Saviour, send Thy angels to conduct Thy departed servant to a place of refreshment, light and peace. Amen.
May the souls of all the faithful departed through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen. Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord! And let perpetual light shine upon them.
Sacred Heart of Jesus have mercy on them. Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for them. St. Joseph, friend of the Sacred Heart, pray for them.
( 100 days indulgence for each aspiration)
Prayer source: Acme Art co. Chicago.