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SIMPLE40 - Day 28 - St. Patrick on Sunday

As I'm sure you already know, tomorrow is St. Patrick's Day. Here in the United States, the day is typically celebrated with much merriment, shamrocks, leprechauns and lots of green in places you don't usually see it. As Catholics, we have a great opportunity to educate and evangelize others about who St. Patrick was and the incredible sacrifices he made to bring the Gospel to Ireland.

There are many legends and traditions associated with St. Patrick - driving snakes out of Ireland - using the 3-leaf clover to explain the Most Holy Trinity - spending 40 days atop the mountain now known as Croagh Patrick fasting and praying. These stories may be a bit embellished, but one thing is for sure: He was a holy man loved and respected by the Irish people.

One of my favorite prayers is the St. Patrick Breastplate. The origin of this prayer is tied to yet another legend that is really quite a testimony to God's loving protection. On May 1, 433, St. Patrick sung this hymn as protection from King Leary and his soldiers after following a prompt by the Holy Spirit to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Easter by lighting a bonfire on the same day as the pagan festival of Beltrane. The flame’s lighting indicated the beginning of the festival and was to be lit only by the king. As the king and his soldier’s approached St. Patrick, he began to sing the hymn, which evokes praise to God and the Holy Trinity and invokes the protection of Christ through these words, which are likely the best known of the prayer:

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 in the heart of every man who thinks of me,

Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks of me,

Christ in the eye that sees me,

Christ in the ear that hears me.

As St. Patrick sung these words, a herd of deer blocked the soldiers’ approach, which allowed St. Patrick and his followers to escape. As a result of this purported miracle, St. Patrick gained more followers, some even being druid priests of the pagan religion who converted to Christianity. (excerpt taken from an article by Aaron Lambert of click to read more on the history, spirituality and traditions of St. Patrick's Day)

The best way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day is to go to Mass, receive the Eucharist and pray the Prayer of St. Patrick, asking his intercession for all your intentions.

Click the link below to read the full prayer from St. Patrick's Breastplate

and see a few other special Irish prayers and blessings.



St. Patrick truly loved the Irish people and was ready to sacrifice all to spread the message of the Gospel.

Every day I am ready to be murdered, betrayed, enslaved—whatever may come my way. But I am not afraid of any of these things, because of the promises of heaven; for I have put myself in the hands of God Almighty.

~St. Patrick

How do you define sacrifice and live it out in your life? Do you choose others and what they would like over yourself and your own desires? Do you willingly give something up for the good of another?

I would like to propose a different definition of sacrifice that will help you re-frame any negative thoughts or attitudes about this word. Instead of thinking of the traditional definition of SACRIFICE as giving something up, think about it as doing a SACRED ACT. What if all the things you sacrifice are actually sacred acts done out of love for God and for others. Not just the things you are "giving up" for Lent, but all the little things every day that you sacrifice for your kids, your spouse, your frineds, your co-workers, and even strangers that cross your path. Think about it....



Take some time this weekend to rest and make a small sacrifice for yourself and your mental health. Do something that makes you feel good that you don't normally take the time to do. This is not to be selfish or over-indulgent, but in line with taking care of yourself in a way to bring God glory with a sense of gratitude for the woman He made you to be. I'm sure you already know what it is that you need to do.



Here is a little hint as to a topic to be discussed next week...


today's recipe


My sister-in-law gave us this recipe several years ago. Colcannon is a traditional Irish food staple and is a stand alone meal with some good bread or can be a hearty side dish.


3-4 medium russet potatoes (about 2 lb) scrubbed clean

2 tablespoon plus 1 tsp. salt, (additional to taste if desired)

6 tablespoons butter, plus additional for serving

4 cups chopped green cabbage, kale, or a 1/2 and 1/2 mixture of both

1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

1 bunch green onions, chopped and divided

2 teaspoons garlic powder (optional)

1 cup whole milk or heavy cream

shredded sharp cheddar (optional)


  • Peel the potatoes and cut them into 2-inch pieces. Add them to a Dutch oven and cover with 1 inch of water. Bring to a boil over high heat and add 2 tablespoons of salt. Boil until the potatoes are very tender, about 15 minutes. Drain the potatoes in a colander and set aside.

  • In the same Dutch oven, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the cabbage or mixture of greens, the remaining 1 teaspoon of salt, and the pepper. Cook, stirring often, until the cabbage mixture is softened, about 5 minutes or so.

  • Reserve 1/4 cup of the green onions for garnish and add the remaining green onion into the cabbage mixture. Cook, stirring often until the onion is softened, about 2 minutes.

  • Reduce the heat to low. Add the milk and cook 2 to 3 minutes until warm. Add the potatoes, then mash and stir until the mixture is well combined. Season with additional salt and pepper, to taste.

  • Transfer the colcannon to a serving dish and top with shredded cheddar, additional butter and green onions.


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