Monday, March 16, 2015

All is quiet in Sophia - St Paddy's Day Cards

Image result for sofia bulgaria     Just spoke to a young woman named Marina in Sophia, Bulgaria who helped me renew the domain name of New Directions.

Very nice young woman who answered my nosy questions.

"It's half past nine in the evening in Sophia. No, she has never been to the States. And neither Russia nor Ukraine are a threat to Bulgaria."

Image result for bulgaria

I renewed the domain name for NINE YEARS to get the special bargain price of $90.

The question is will Ruth Z Deming still be alive in 9 years and will there still be a New Directions?

 "Costumes are Mandatory" by Ethan Iverson and friends is the name of the album I listened to while I was painting all my St Patrick's Day Cards. I kept thinking of more and more people, so I ended up making six of em.
Rachel at the Abington PO carefully put the two stamps on em.

I enjoyed making them, but told myself to Relax, I was getting sloppy.

For breakfast I needed to eat quickly, since I got home from Quest Diagnostics at 11:30. Kidney tests.

Nothing better than two eggs, home-grown-on-the-kitchen-window-sill Green Scallions and a sprinkling of black pepper.

Just finished this delicious salad. I allus saute the mushrooms cuz I heard they're healthier cooked.

Maybe I will be alive in 9 years.

Scott doesn't know that his folks are getting one of my Shamrocks. I signed it Love Ruth and Scott.

I have a fave poem about St Paddy's Day but darned if I can find it. Here's some interesting info about the holiday and St Patrick

St. Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland, although he was born in Britain. Many miracles have been attributed to the bishop, including the driving of the snakes from Ireland. His sainthood derives from his conversion of the Irish Celtic pagans to Christianity. He used the native shamrock as a symbol of the holy trinity when preaching and brought the Latin alphabet to Ireland. March 17 is the feast day of St. Patrick, of course.

Patrick was born around 385 in Scotland, probably Kilpatrick, in a Romanized family. His father was Calpurnius, a local official, and his mother was Conchessa.

As a boy of fourteen or so, he was captured during a raiding party and taken to Ireland, where he spent 6 years in slavery herding and tending sheep. Ireland at this time was a land of Druids and pagans. He learned the language and practices of the people who held him.

It is during this period he became closer to God. During his captivity, he turned to God in prayer. He wrote:

"The love of God and his fear grew in me more and more, as did the faith, and my soul was rosed, so that, in a single day, I have said as many as a hundred prayers and in the night, nearly the same."

"I prayed in the woods and on the mountain, even before dawn. I felt no hurt from the snow or ice or rain."

Patrick's captivity lasted until he was twenty, when he escaped from slavery in a ship, after having a dream from God in which he was told to leave Ireland by going to the coast. There he found some sailors who took him back to Britain, where he reunited with his family. 

It said that he reunited with his family, and then went to Gaul where he studied in the monastery under St. Germain, bishop of Auxerre for a period of twelve years. During his training he became aware that his calling was to convert the pagans to Christianity.

He had another dream in which the people of Ireland were calling out to him "We beg you, holy youth, to come and walk among us once more."

In the dream Victoricus delivered him a letter headed "The Voice of the Irish." As he read it he seemed to hear a certain company of Irish beseeching him to walk once more among them. "Deeply moved," he says, "I could read no more."

Later, Patrick was ordained a bishop, and it was Pope Celestine who sent him back to Ireland to take the Gospel to the island.  During the many years that followed, he traveled throughout Ireland converting Pagans and Druids to Christianity. This much we know to be true, and the rest is legend.  

He arrived in Ireland March 25, 433, at Slane. One legend says that he met a chieftain of one of the tribes, who tried to kill Patrick. Patrick converted Dichu (the chieftain) after he was unable to move his arm until he became friendly to Patrick.

Patrick began preaching the Gospel throughout Ireland, converting many. He and his disciples preached and converted thousands and began building churches all over the country. Kings, their families, and entire kingdoms converted to Christianity when hearing Patrick's message.

Patrick was quite successful at winning converts. And this fact upset the Celtic Druids. Patrick was arrested several times, but escaped each time. He traveled throughout Ireland, establishing monasteries across the country. He also set up schools and churches which would aid him in his conversion of the Irish country to Christianity.

The story goes that he gave a sermon on a hill that drove the snakes out of Ireland. It may be that this story was symbolic for his putting an end to Pagan practices, as serpent symbols figured prominently in their culture.

Patrick by now had many disciples, among them Beningnus, Auxilius, Iserninus, and Fiaac, (all later canonized as well).

Patrick preached and converted all of Ireland for 40 years. He worked many miracles and wrote of his love for God in Confessions. Patrick retired to County Down. By the spring of 461, at the age of 76, St Patrick was nearing his end.

He died on March 17th at Saul, where he had built the first church. That day has been commemorated as St. Patrick's Day ever since.

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