Who is Maewyn Succat & Why Should We Care?

Jordan Dane
@JordanDane

Shamrocks

Shamrocks

Happy St. Maewyn’s Day, everybody!

DID YOU KNOW that according to Irish legend, St. Patrick’s birth name was really Maewyn Succat? Catchy, huh? Saint Patrick changed his name to Patricius after becoming a priest. If he were alive today, how many handles would he have on Twitter?

DID YOU KNOW that we should really wear BLUE on St. Patrick’s Day? His color of choice was a light shade of blue. Green didn’t become linked to the holiday until the Irish Independence day movement in the late 18th century.

DID YOU KNOW that St Patrick was British? His claim to fame came from introducing Christianity to Ireland in the year 432, but he wasn’t Irish. He was the son of Roman parents from Scotland or Wales.

WHO CELEBRATES ST PATRICK”S DAY MORE SERIOUSLY? This is harder to quantify. Of course the Irish celebrate in a huge way by making it a national holiday. New Yorkers have a HUGE parade, one of the largest parades ever since the mid 1700s, but this parade to this day does not allow floats, cars, or other modern conveyances. But Chicago won’t be denied. They dump vivid green dye into the Chicago River, since 1962, and it takes 40 tons of dye.

DID YOU KNOW St. Patty’s was strictly a religious holiday in Ireland for most of the 20th century and the nation’s pubs were closed to celebrate? The one exception for alcohol was the national dog show held on the same day. In 1970, the day was made a national holiday and the beer flowed. Yes, that day, the holiday went to the dogs.

WHAT”S UP WITH THE SHAMROCKS? According to legend, the saint used the 3-leafed clover to describe the Holy Trinity. There’s nothing like a visual.

DID YOU KNOW St. Patrick was the Pied Piper of Snakes? The Irish might be full of blarney on this one. St. Patrick gets credit for driving all snakes out of Ireland, but scientists and fossil records claim Ireland has never been a refuge for snakes. It’s too damned cold and the surrounding seas make a natural barrier. Unless snakes come in on a plane, those slithering varmints are banished.

DID YOU KNOW THERE ARE NO FEMALE LEPRECHAUNS? Whaddup with that? In traditional Irish folk tales, there are no lady wee people, or snappy dressed little guys for that matter.

DID YOU KNOW that the phrase “Erin go Bragh” is NOT the correct pronunciation? It should be “Éirinn go Brách” which means “Ireland Forever.” So get it right, people.

Up for discussion:

How do YOU celebrate St. Patty’s Day? Whether you hoist green brew these days or have a colorful story from your younger years, please share your memories of St. Patty’s Day with your TKZ family.

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About Jordan Dane

Bestselling, critically-acclaimed author Jordan Dane’s gritty thrillers are ripped from the headlines with vivid settings, intrigue, and dark humor. Publishers Weekly compared her intense novels to Lisa Jackson, Lisa Gardner, and Tami Hoag, naming her debut novel NO ONE HEARD HER SCREAM as Best Books of 2008. She is the author of young-adult novels written for Harlequin Teen, the Sweet Justice thriller series for HarperCollins., and the Ryker Townsend FBI psychic profiler series, Mercer's War vigilante novellas, and the upcoming Trinity LeDoux bounty hunter novels set in New Orleans. Jordan shares her Texas residence with two lucky rescue dogs. To keep up with new releases & exclusive giveaways, click HERE

40 thoughts on “Who is Maewyn Succat & Why Should We Care?

  1. I don’t celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. I might have a drop of Irish blood, but certainly not enough to get into the spirit. That said, I found your post fascinating. Funny how things get scrambled as life goes on. 40 tons of dye? Wow.

  2. I’ll be wearin’ the green (and now blue jeans, thank you very much).

    May there always be work for your hands to do,
    And your purse always hold a coin or two.
    May the sun always shine on your windowpane,
    And a rainbow be certain to follow the rain.
    May the hand of a friend always be near,
    And may God fill your heart with gladness and cheer.

    Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all.

  3. First, it’s St. Patrick’s Day or St. Paddy’s Day. Patty is the nickname for Patricia. (I have a daughter living in Northern Ireland, and she makes this clear. Also, the Irish don’t eat corned beef and cabbage. That’s the Americanized version. Nor do they drink green beer. Here, our local pub goes all out for St. Patrick’s Day. She blogged for me about it a couple of years ago. http://terryodell.blogspot.com/2011/03/st-patricks-day-in-northern-ireland.html

    And, even here in a non-Irish rural Colorado mountain community, this entire week has been high visibility for law enforcement. Lots of extra patrols watching out for those who might have indulged a bit too much.

  4. Pingback: Happy St. Maewyn’s Day, everybody! | Humorous Interludes by Ron Yarosh

  5. The green, white, and orange tricolor is flying at my house even now. Plus, I’ve put in two entries to the local limerick contest. Faith and Begorrah!

      • Jordan,

        Here’s a limerick about Charlotte’s habit of bulldozing historic buildings for roads and strip malls:

        “Our buildings are nothing but clones,”
        The sad preservationist moans.
        He’s feeling dysphoric
        Since all that’s historic
        In Charlotte are old traffic cones.

  6. I’ve told this before: I am [Muscogee] Creek, Kiowa, and a tiny bit of Cheyenne. So obviously my name, Porter, isn’t from one of those tribes. All my life, I had wondered about where the name came from. When I began to research the matter, I learned that the three most likely places where the name Porter originated were England, Scotland, and Ireland.

    Now I’d always secretly hoped that I was related to the Scots. They are a loyal, patriotic, and jovial people. I didn’t want to be related to the Brits and have to answer for the horrid things the Redcoats perpetrated all around the world. (Sailing up the river and hanging mayors and governors, and giving smallpox-invested blankets to American Indian people, has never struck me as as either honorable or classy.)

    But as it turns out, it’s likely our Porters came from Ireland. (Horny Celts, as it were.) My great-great uncle, Pleasant Porter, was the last principal chief of the Creeks before Oklahoma statehood, and there is speculation that he would have been elected governor of the new State of Sequoyah if the white people who ran the government in Washington had kept their word and allowed Indian Territory to become a state controlled by American Indian people. And, the little Oklahoma town of Porter is named after him. Porter is a peachy place.

    And a new possibility. The first American to give credence to American ballet in Europe was the late prima ballerina, Maria Tallchief. Ms Tallchief danced her way into the hearts of Europeans and, of course, Americans were very proud of her. As it turns out, Ms Tallchief’s mother’s maiden name was Porter. And she was Irish. So–is it possible that we . . . Well, I can only hope so. Until genealogy determines otherwise, I can hold on to that hope.

    My wife is German, possibly part Irish. There was some family belief that they are related to the infamous. cigar-smoking outlaw Belle Starr. Who knows?

    But. In our house today, we will not celebrate. I understand this blog is not my personal journal. But I want to say this. Rather than celebrate, we will remember a great Irish lady, my son’s mother-in-law, Pat Russell, who passed early this morning. I would appreciate your prayers for the comfort of her, and our, family there in Buffalo.

    I wish you a great and fun St. Patrick’s Day observance and celebration.

  7. Some fun tidbits.

    1. My wife has a mini-nubian goat trip(herd). Her first two does were sisters, Abigail (“Abby”) and Erin Go Bragh (Erin). She did not name them, they came to her pre-registered. Erin was born on St. Patty’s Day, 2011.

    2. I use to attend a church where the pastor was from Ireland. On my first St. Patty’s Day at the church I gave him a green lanyard as a gift. He looked at me quizzically and explained to me that in Ireland Protestants celebrate St. Patty’s Day with the color orange. Catholics celebrate with the color green. Apparently in Ireland that’s a big deal! Needless to say the following year I gave him something orange 🙂

    • I also meant to add that the colors in the Irish Flag are Green, White, and Orange, White represents peace between the two religious groups.

  8. I don’t do anything except try to wear something green and mispronounce Erin Go Braugh. (If I don’t wear green I get pinched.)

  9. Happy St Patrick’s Day (can’t spell his real name!)!! As about a quarter Irish we celebrate a wee bit but not much. My mother and father eat Irish food and wear green but apart from wearing my shamrock earrings I don’t do much (not a huge fan of the rather stodgy Irish food:)) My mother’s maiden name is Guilfolye which supposedly derives from the name of a flower that grows along the river Foyle – one day I’d like to research that side of the family tree and learn more (we know much more about the Scottish MacGregor side).

  10. St. Patrick’s Day is really an American holiday. The Irish picked it up from us. My Irish friend Dave used to sneer at the holiday. “I’m Irish 365 days a year. St. Patrick’s Day is amateur night.” At the first newspaper I worked at, the staff always had a big St. Patrick’s Day Hawaiian luau, with roasted pork and pineapple and rum. The theme was – wait for it – The Lovely Houlihans.

    BTW – “Danny Boy,” supposedly a timeless, traditional Irish ballad, was written in 1905 by an English lawyer. In the play for which he wrote it, it was sung as a love ballad by a woman to a man.

  11. In re: Driving the snakes out of Ireland. Snakes were a metaphor for the heathens. Patricius returned to Ireland to drive out the non-Christians. Guess he can claim success on that one.

  12. I loved reading the discussion! Lots of fun. St Paddy’s day is hit or miss in our household. If it falls on a weekend, we are more likely to go out and celebrate than when it falls on a weekday. I am mix of origins, but there is definitely Irish in there, many a lovely Irish maiden married the Scots, English, Dutch, German and Cherokee gentlemen in my family tree. I wore flashing shamrocks today as my bow to my Irish genes.
    Thanks, Jordan, for the fun facts about the first St Patrick!

  13. Like John said, Patrick drove out serpentine men, not reptiles. His primary detractors were the Druids and similar Pagan leader, which Patrick would have labelled as snakes or demons for their practices. So as how the serpent represents the devil, thus it was representing his religious foes.

  14. Hullo, this is Berthold the leprechaun.
    Now while I am not old enough to actually have met anyone who met Pádraig themselves, I do know a bit more of his story.
    For instance did you know that he while he was the son of a Deacon and grandson of a Priest (they were allowed to marry back then), he had rejected the gospel as a youth (as is wont for many a minister’s child). And he was actually first taken to Ireland as a slave, kidnapped right off his family’s homestead in Bannavem Taburniae (probably an area in coastal western Scotland). He was taken by raiders at the tender age of 17 and sold as a slave to a cruel Shepherd, who left out in the cold and rain and wind for three years on a starvation diet, until he ran away. During that time though he gave his heart to the Lord God.

    He ended up in a group of barbarian sea adventurers for several years and gradually made his way back to Ireland, as the Holy Spirit led him to be the missionary to that people whom he had previously hated with all his heart.

    In the end he was not only a missionary but a friend and personal advisor to several Kings, even the High King. This in spite of attempts of his opponents, the Druids, attempting often to have him killed or sent away.

    I have a feeling that while he would probably not be averse to having a drink or two with his friends, he would not likely condone the way his holiday is celebrated today.

  15. Now that my little brother is done with the sermonizing, I have a bone to pick with some of your statements above, particularly “THERE ARE NO FEMALE LEPRECHAUNS”.

    It is not true that there are no female leprechauns, my brothers and me all came from a mother, who was a very lovely female. All of us spent many of our childerly years snuggled on her lap, at the warmth of her breast, tugging at her silky smooth beard.

    And our women have beautifully large …

    Berthold: Ahem….this is family website.

    Uh….large hearts….yes…large hearts full of love, and kindness.

    Berthold: Well played, brother.

    All of that said, if any normal human was to see any of us, or our women folks, in the nakedness of our God-given suits of clothes, they’d be able to easily tell the different… then they’d likely run and scream…because they don’t know beauty they see it.

    I mean, who wants a tall long legged thing with measurements of 36x24x36, when you have a 3 feet tall beauty with a lovely 30x28x30 to snuggle up to.

    …and that silky beard.

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