The Saint Formerly Known as Maewyn

Ah, Patrick! Patron saint of Ireland, and perhaps of green beer as well. Today is yet another commemoration turned into countless opportunities for marketing (and green beer). Hey, don’t get me wrong, I love St. Patrick’s day. I have my shamrock leggings on even as I write this, and my 4-leaf clover earrings as well. You won’t catch me drinking green beer, though – Guinness is too dark to turn any color but…well, Guinness.

Amidst the parades and parties is the life of a man who was an amazing figure. The nuns told us he used a shamrock to teach the trinity (no evidence for that, though – but when did that stop the good sisters?) and that he drove the snakes out of Ireland (no evidence for that either. In fact, no evidence that snakes ever DID exist in Ireland. If they also lack mosquitos…I’m moving).

You can read in many places about the life of Maewyn Succat, who changed his name to Patricius when he became a priest. (Interesting tidbit of info I found; according to legend, that was Patrick’s birth name.) It’s fairly common knowledge that he was born in Britain around the end of the 4th century, was captured and enslaved in Ireland for some years, and then returned to that country as a priest.

Perhaps a good way to celebrate this rock-star-among-saints is to read some of his own words:

Another night – I do not know, God knows, whether it was within me or beside me– I heard authoritative words which I could hear but not understand, until at the end of the speech it became clear: “The one who gave his life for you, he it is who speaks in you”; and I awoke full of joy.

Another time, I saw in me one who was praying. It was as if I were inside my body, and I heard above me, that is, above my inner self. He prayed strongly, with sighs. I was amazed and astonished, and pondered who it was who prayed in me; but at the end of the prayer, it was clear that it was the Spirit. At this I awoke, and I remembered the apostle saying: “The Spirit helps the weaknesses of our prayer; for we do know what it is we should pray, but the very Spirit pleads for us with unspeakable sighs, which cannot be expressed in words.” And again: “The Lord is our advocate, and pleads for us.”

from the Confession of St. Patrick found at Confession | St. Patrick’s Confessio

When reading the words of Patrick, I am struck by his humility and his courage. Take some time today to read a bit before you head out to drink green beer.

As for me, I’m going to read more from Patrick – and then head out to have a Guinness and listen to bagpipes!


My Body, My…wait a minute.

Have you noticed the newest greeting making the rounds? No more “how are you” and “is everybody well?” Nope, it’s have you gotten your shot yet?

Vaccination updates fly between adults as though they were a group of moms discussing their toddlers’ vaccination schedules. Well, Brenda, did you get your shot yet?

No, not yet.

And then the reactions begin. Why not? How could you? Why are you even standing here talking to me? Eeeeewwww!! Get away! Cooties!!

Well, for one thing, according to the state of Louisiana, I’m not eligible to have The Shot. I’m under 65, and while many of my age group are eligible, I’m not. I don’t work in the health field or any of the designated professional groups. I don’t have any of the long list of pre-existing conditions that put me at risk. I’ve been exposed to CoVid “up close and personal” (my husband had it) and I had a few days of feeling “off,” but no more. I haven’t rushed to get The Shot yet because for one thing, why should I (someone who’s pretty healthy) get in line in front of someone who IS high risk and needs it more than I?

Photo by Maksim Goncharenok on

But none of this matters. Mention that you haven’t had The Shot and people move away from you and your possible invisible CoVid Cooties. No Shot, and you are immediately cast as (gasp!!) an Anti-Vaxxer. Heaven forbid!! Outcast!!

Maybe I’m crazy (I know I’m cynical), but I’m not in a rush. If we were dealing with something like Ebola or the Black Death, I’d probably be clawing my way to the front of the line. But I’m still reading the research (you know, The Science). But until I get The Shot, I’d like for people to back off a bit.

Maybe I could come up with a slogan. You know, something catchy like… My Body, My Choice. Hey! That has a nice ring to it!

Oh…wait a minute. That’s been taken. The abortion folks have a lock on it already.

Am I the only one to see the irony of this?

Well, Brenda (or Karen), that’s different! If you don’t get The Shot, you may be exposing hundreds of people to your deadly cooties! You could be an unwitting carrier of CoVid! Typhoid Mary! Unclean! Unclean!

Abortion, on the other hand, endangers no one. Safe, harmless, “therapeutic” abortion.

WTF?!?! Mmmm, no. But isn’t it My Body, My Choice? Or is that only in selected instances?

I hear the cries of YES! Yes, because your decision could murder others! (Abortion, on the other hand, doesn’t hurt anyone. Well, almost.)

I’m old enough to have a scar on my left arm from my smallpox vaccination. I remember getting it. I remember the scab that formed, and when it fell off. I was 5. Vaccinations have made an incredible positive difference in not just public health, but private – personal – health.

So shouldn’t The Shot be personal as well?

You won’t know if I get vaccinated against CoVid. Very few people will. Why? Because frankly, it’s none of your business. It’s not the latest greeting, and it shouldn’t be. Your personal health decisions are your business. Not mine, not anyone’s.

After all, isn’t it My Body, My Choice?