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Thursday, March 17, 2011

It's Not Really About Drinking

March 17th, 2011

Bill McCormick has a tremendous piece up today:

"The little, poorly made, nameplate on my desk says World News Center. Since that is so, I feel it is my duty to look beyond the musty confines of my locale and imbue you with knowledge of the greater world around you. I can already hear some of you saying, “Hey Doofus! It’s St. Patrick’s day. We already get that. Wear green, drink beer! What else do you need to know?” Well, ye of little knowledge, you’d be surprised. St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland, for example, bears no resemblance to the Bacchanal celebrated in America. It’s a somber, religious, holiday where people pray for enemies to no longer taint their shores and for blessings to be laid upon their homes and families. To be polite, it’s not exactly a wild party.
More importantly to our blog here today, it’s a Catholic holiday. I point this out not to exclude any other religions but to explain something that happened around 150 years ago that is very important to a lot of people.
The Irish in America at that time were trying to fit in. Many joined the military. There they were subjected to abuse, both verbal and physical, by the Protestant leaders who ran things. Even so, they fought and died for their new country. They fought insurrectionists, they fought Indians, they fought anyone they were told to fight until 1848. That was when they were told to fight Mexicans. More specifically, Catholic Mexicans.
Combined with the abuse and torment heaped upon them by Protestant officers, that was too much for them to bear. The Irish, en masse, defected to the Mexican army. While almost none of the soldiers spoke Spanish, that didn’t matter. Since they were Catholic, and had their priests with them, the priests spoke Latin. Just like the Mexican priests did. Just like all priests did back then. All negotiations for land, intermarriages and service in the Mexican army were handled by the priests.
The Irish knew they would be facing a far superior force in the American army and that their future looked to be short. They did it anyway. What happened next is why there’s a Día de San Patricio in Mexico and other Latin countries to this day. Viva San Carlos has the rest of the story."
Read the rest HERE


  1. Grey, it was a fortuitous day I fell through the blogosphere and landed on your blog. I knew nothing of this but now I do. I wll pass it along. "Have you read Cahill's, "How the Irish Saved Civilization"? Great book and a great section on St. Pat. A man by any definition.

  2. Thanks, Cletis. :-)I actually have not read that but it's now on my list.