I grew up travelling to Ireland to visit all my relatives every other summer from when I was two until I was sixteen.  Now my three kids are competitive Irish dancers and our family will be competing at the World Irish Dance Championships for the fourth time this year.

So St. Patrick’s Day is up there with Christmas and Thanksgiving in our household. 

As my kids spend the weekend performing in pubs and seniors’ homes, I can’t help but think of the Patron Saint of Ireland who started it all.  He was a communicator who used the shamrock to share his message about the Holy Trinity and he transformed many of the people he met with his story of hope.

St. Patrick’s Day was always a religious holiday when the Irish would be able to take a break from Lenten fasting to drink, dance and eat meat for a one-day celebration.

Now it is celebrated in countries around the world regardless of background, culture or religion.  Everyone comes together to sing a ballad, dance a jig and be generally merry.

As the great Irish writer William Butler Yeats once said, “There are no strangers here; only friends you haven’t yet met.”

That’s every pub on St. Patrick’s Day.  Here’s to a weekend filled with dancing, stories and great conversation.  Sláinte!