St. Patrick Versus the Snakes All Gory Be to Jesus
How St. Patrick Drove All the Snakes in Ireland in to the Sea
Brother Lawrence Damien
Today is Saint Patrickâ€™s Day. Allegedly he drove all the snakes in Ireland into the sea and that is why there are no snakes in Ireland today. Some however say there have never been any snakes in Ireland for St Patrick to have driven into the sea and therefore the story is a myth. I have a friend Botox Oâ€™Malley who is a leprechaun. For those who may not what they are they are Irish fairies.
Botox stands about three feet tall and has a beard. He likes to wear green along with a pointed hat and buckled shoes. Since he is a shoemaker he wears a leather apron. He also likes to smoke a pipe though I donâ€™t recommend that as itâ€™s not good for your health. After all we are not fairies; He is a very weather beaten old man who claims to have been around since Adam and Eve. While I canâ€™t prove that I think itâ€™s safe to say he has been around a whole lot longer than either you or me. As far as I know he has only one fault. Let me explain.
As I mentioned Botox is a leprechaun. Leprechauns are known to be roguish tricksters who cannot be trusted and will deceive whenever possible. You know when he is near as you can hear the tap â€“ tap â€“ tap â€“ tapping of his tiny cobbler hammer driving nails into the shoes he is making. I just captured him recently (canâ€™t tell you how or where as thatâ€™s a secret) and now he has to grant me three wishes and go to the end of the rainbow to get me his pot of gold and bring it back and give to me. Still waiting for that one butâ€™s thatâ€™s another story. Anyway I told him I wanted to know the truth about St. Patrick and what actually happened many years ago in Ireland. He has promised to tell me the truth as he says he was there and knew St. Patrick personally. The following is the story that he related to me. You can read it for yourself and decide whether he is telling the truth or is full of blarney. For those not familiar with blarney itâ€™s the Irish term for smooth, flattering talk which is often nonsensical or deceptive. It is said if you have ever kissed the Blarney Stone who have become skilled in flattery and are an expert in speaking blarney. Leprechauns speak blarney I am told better than anyone else. So beware if you encounter one as he may well try and deceive you. Anyway for what itâ€™s worth here is the story as he told it to me.
According to Botox many years ago darkness ruled over the land of Ireland. Christianity was just starting to arrive in Ireland and make its presence felt. Pagan temples were everywhere and they used snakes in their worship as well as treated them as gods. Since they were gods it was against the law to kill or harm them. So the snakes were able to breed and multiply until all of Ireland was filled with them. The people were told that the snakes were there to watch the people and make sure they were good. If they werenâ€™t the snakes would bite them sending poison into their bodies and they would die. Therefore the people greatly feared the snakes.
Over the years the people developed an uneasy truce with the snakes. They learned to respect them and so on the whole didnâ€™t have much to worry about. They had to be careful where they walked lest they stepped on a snake and it bite them as punishment for stepping on them. They also had to watch where they sat lest they sit on one and again get bit as punishment. The snakes had a favorite game they liked to play. They would crawl in under the covers of a nice warm bed and wait, When the lady of the house would come into the room sheâ€™d change into her nightgown. Then she would blowout the candle and climb into bed. When she did she would feel something rubbing against her leg. Realizing it was a snake she would immediately jump out of bed screaming bloody murder at the top of her lungs until someone finally came to her rescue. By then the snake usually had managed to slither away to go play the game again somewhere else. For the snakes that was great fun especially to watch.
Opinion was divided over the snakes. Some thought they were good as they ate the mice and other rodents that would eat the crops and grain that the people needed in order to survive. Some even kept snakes as pets.
Others saw them as evil, demonic, and something that couldnâ€™t be trusted or tolerated. Also they hated them watching them all the time so they could punish them every time they did something wrong. Many people had died because of the snakes and so many thought their lives as well as their land would be better off without the snakes. Therefore they worked hard to try and find a way to get rid of them.
Also on the side of the pagan temples were the rich people. They had big beautiful castles, lots of land and lots of money. They also had many serfs that they treated like slaves. They worked them for a mere pittance i.e. enough to barely survive with. However that wasnâ€™t good for these rich folks who wanted more. So they placed heavy taxes on them and told the people if they didnâ€™t pay they would go round up some snakes and turn them loose on those who refused to pay. People knew what would happen if the landlords did that so they would pay the taxes even it it meant they wouldnâ€™t be able to eat or get food for their families. This was the situation when the first Christian missionaries arrived.
Everything is fine for awhile, Then St. Patrick came to Ireland to help evangelize it and get the church established on a firm foundation. He decided to begin his ministry by doing a forty day fast. While he is in the middle of his fast the snakes attacked St. Patrick. Infuriated St. Patrick raises up the cross holding it in front of him. As he does a bright light shines forth from it that the snakes canâ€™t stand. Therefore they are forced to retreat into the sea where they all drown.
This is the story as told me by Botox Oâ€™Malley. How ever since he is a leprechaun I canâ€™t vouch for its veracity. As I said earlier leprechauns like to deceive so for all I know this all may be an ocean full of blarney. If however blarney it be then just remember on this day we can all be Irish by wearing something green. Go down to the pub and have a Guinness beer and Irish coffee may bring you cheer. And when they play the Irish tunes get up and dance a jig making it wild and free for St. Patrickâ€™s memory.
For Christians there is a lesson here for us to understand. The Irish can once a year be one including everyone. Jesus pray for us Christians to all be one. He told us to take the gospel to humankind and include everyone. So today in St. Patrickâ€™s memory let us take a solemn vow to strive as the living body of Christ to be one now, tomorrow and for eternity.
In closing Botox would like us to do something for Ireland. He would like us to remember that
Saint Patrick was a gentleman, who through strategy and stealth
Drove all the snakes from Ireland, hereâ€™s a drink to his health!
But not too many drinks, lest we lose ourselves and then
Forget the good Saint Patrick, and see them snakes again!
May the luck of the Irish be always with you now and forever. Also,
May the Irish hills caress you.
May her lakes and rivers bless you.
May the luck of the Irish enfold you.
May the blessings of Saint Patrick behold you.
Pray you all enjoyed this and all comments welcomed.
Happy St. Patrickâ€™s Day to one and all
Brother Lawrence Damien Cos