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By Sean Fitzpatrick, Crisis Magazine, March 18, 2020
Sean Fitzpatrick is a senior contributor to Crisis. He’s graduate of Thomas Aquinas College and the Headmaster of Gregory the Great Academy. He lives in Scranton, Penn. with his wife and family of four.
Irish immigrants to the United States held the first Saint Patrick’s Day parade in New York in 1762. Over 250 years later, Saint Patrick’s Day parades are a big deal in New York City, with each borough boasting their own. One of these boroughs came under heavy fire this year regarding its Paddy parade. The Staten Island Saint Patrick’s Day parade was the only NYC parade that did not allow LGBTQ groups to march under banners acclaiming their orientations and proclivities. The parade committee took a public stand on this issue, reflecting (better than most on Saint Patrick’s Day) the saint who achieved victory over a pagan nation by taking a stand.
It is bizarre how Americans have come to revere Saint Patrick. A religious feast that was celebrated quietly for a thousand years in Ireland has become a roaring beer fest in the United States. American culture has a way of savaging ancient culture, and that because America is in many respects a new race of savages—a new race of pagans with a new pantheon of idols. The United States is still, even in the 21st century, missionary country. Yet, by some mystical irony, the one saint who is widely “honored” in the land of the neo-pagans is Saint Patrick the Missionary. ….