Celebrations and Miscellaneous Trivia

Iowa City Citizen
Iowa City, Johnson, Iowa
March 15, 1919

    A splendid program will be given at St. Brendan's Hall Sunday evening at 8 o'clock in Honor of St. Patrick, the patron saint whose birth is celebrated March 17.
    The program will be given under the direction and auspices of the Ancient Order of Hibernians and the Ladies Auxiliary. Stephen Bradley, county chairman of the Hibernians, will preside.
    Following is the program:
    Music.................................................Cahill Orchestra
    "Hail to America"- Huffen................... High School
    "A Nation Once Again"- Johnson.......  High School
    Irish Folk Dances..............................  Marie Baldwin, Elizabeth Dorcas.
    The Harp that once through
        Tara's Halls...................................  Catherine Mullin
    Reading............................................  Mary Agnes Flannagan
    "Mother Machree"...........................  Laurence Casey
    Reading...........................................  Mrs. W.R. Hart, Jr.
    Selection.........................................  University Quartette
    Address, Ireland a Nation................  Judge M.F. Donegan
    America..........................................  Everybody

Nashua Reporter
Nashua, Chickasaw, Iowa
March 15, 1917

Worn Not Only in Honor of the Saint, but in Remembrance of Days of Famine.

    Who put a sprig of shamrock in their buttonhole on the 17th of March realize that these little green sprigs more than once kept the Irish from death in dire famine times.
    In 1596 the poet Spenser declares that the war had brought the miserable inhabitants of Munster to a point where they "flock to a plot of watercresses or shamrocks as to a feast." This "View of Ireland" he describes as the depth of ruin to which a land formerly having abundant corn and cattle had been plunged.
    The troublous times continued and the shamrock is mentioned as an article of food again and again. Fynes ?arrison, in 1598, writes that the herb is still "being snatched out of the ditches for food."
    Withers in "Abuses Stript and Stript" (1613) sings:
    And for my clothing in a mantle go
    And feed on shamrocks as the Irish doe.
    Not until later was the shamrock used as the national emblem of Erin. Nathaniel Colgan, member of the Royal Irish academy, says the earliest record of the "wearing o' the green" is contained in the diary of Thomas Dinely, who wrote in 1687:
    "17th day of March yearly is St. Patrick, an immovable feast, when the Irish of all stations and conditions wear crosses in their hats, some of pins, some of green ribbon, and the vulgar superstitiously wear shamrogues, three-leaved grass, which they likewise eat (they say to cause sweet breath.) The common people and servants also demand their Patrick's groat of their masters, which they go expressly to town, though half a dozen miles off, to spend, where sometimes it amounts to a piece of eight or a cobb apiece, and very few of the zealous are found sober at night."
    A later reference to the wearing of the shamrock appears in the works of Dr. Caleb Threlkeid, a botanist of the early nineteenth century. He says: "The people wear the plant in their hats in commemoration of St. Patrick, "believing that St. Patrick used the three-lobed leaf to explain the Christian Trinity. This belief is generally said by antiquarians to have arisen in the fourteenth century, almost a thousand years after the time of Patritius" who died in A.D. 403.
    In that year, says the Annale of Ulster, "Patritius, the arch-apostle of the Scoti (Irish) rested on the 16th day of the calends of April (March 17) in the one hundred and twentieth year of his life, the sixtieth year after he had come to Ireland to baptize the Scoti."


    It was the foundation of St. Patrick's greatness that his renovation of Ireland was not a revolution. He left old institutions untouched, wherever they could be purged of a taint of superstition. There were septs and clans, judges, bards and kings before him, and they continued after him. He built his church carefully. To disarm political opposition he appeared straight to the heads of the clans. He aimed at the creation of administrative clergy. He tried to give every community a place of worship. At his death 365 churches lay along the roads his journeys had taken; 365 bishops were distributed throughout the land, 3,000 priests ministered to the spiritual wants of the nation. He attempted to throw into the church thus suddenly created a strong element of stability by systematizing it on the models of the canons and making ecclesiastical law effective in every department.
    He did not believe in sanctity unassociated with education. Under him religion created great monasteries and monasteries created great schools. By those schools St. Patrick is a factor in the history of Europe. Even before he went to Ireland he had seen the days when Ostrogoths established themselves in Pannonia and Thrace, when the Visigoths sacked the Italian peninsula from end to end and carved out a Spanish kingdom within the domain of great Rome, when the Huns rode their blazing course up the Danube and the Rhine almost to the ocean; when the Vandals terrorized Spain and crushed the power of the empire in northern Africa, when the Salian Franks took firm grip of northern Gaul. His long life stretches over a period during which the whirlwind of barbaric invasions swept away all but a remnant of the ancient language. But now the world went to Ireland, and the Irish brought their school to the world. Religion, the ancient classics, law, history, natural science, agriculture, manual training, the use of implements and the forge, all came within the scope of these intense and practical scholars.
    Not without reason has the name of St. Patrick been held in veneration through these many generations. There is nowhere a teacher whose services for learning exerted so wide an influence in a time so critical for all culture. There is nowhere a statesman whose activity so completely reformed the character of any people. There is nowhere such a national hero whose fame is sounded across fifteen centuries and can still stir emotions of enthusiasm far beyond his nation's shores. There is nowhere a saint whose teachings are blended like his with the destinies of his nation.

Irish Leaders in American History.
    The Declaration of Independence has twelve Irish names. Matthew Thornton, James Smith, and George Taylor were born in Ireland; John Hancock, William Whipple, Robert Treat Paine, George Read, Thomas McKean, Edward Nelson and Thomas Lynch were of Irish parentage. The secretary of congress who prepared the immortal document from the rough draft of Thomas Jefferson was Charles Thompson, a native of Derry, while Captain Dunlop, still another Irishman, printed it, and published it to the world. Captain Dunlop was the founder of the first daily paper in Philadelphia.

Remember Native Land.
    No other people coming to our shores have displayed toward their native land a love more wholesome than the Irish. They keep their children fed upon the tales of the fairies and "little people" who are good to the good children, and whose wrath descends upon the children who are not doing right.

Church and Tower at Kells.
    The celebrated Book of Kells was written there in the sixth century. This church is famous for its historical associations. The town of Kells originated in a monastery founded by St. Columba.

Ireland's Towers.
    The towers, which are numerous throughout Ireland, have been the subject of much controversy among antiquarians. They are thought to have been used as a means of defense.

Four or Five-Leaved Shamrock?
    Some say the four-leaf shamrock is the shamrock of luck, and others say that it is the five leaved one that holds the magic touch. This latter is rare and prized and said to grow from a decaying body, as the nettle is said to spring from buried human remains. The shamrock of luck must be found "without searching, without seeking." When thus discovered it should be cherished and preserved as an invincible talisman.

Many Irish Flags.
    Quite a number of flags have figured in Irish history. Not the least popular among these is the flag exhibiting three golden crowns imposed on a blue ground. This flag was accepted after the Norman invasion in the year 1170, as the ensign of Ireland, the three crowns representing the kingdoms of Desmond, Ormond and Thomond. It was retained until 1547 when Henry VIII abolished it and substituted the harp.

Date of Saint's Death.
    In his extreme old age St. Patrick wrote his "Confession," which concludes with these words: "And this is my confession before I die." He died at Saul on the 17th of March, A.D. 465.

    The roster of the revolutionary war is bright with Irish names. General Montgomery was a native of Donegal. Lord Mountjoy in a speech before the house of commons declared. "You have lost America through the Irish."

In Education and Sports.
    Among the Irish educators in America may be mentioned Horace Greeley, William Rainey Harper and William Maxwell. The Olympic games of a few years ago were planned by Sullivan Halpin and Mike Murphy. Martin Sheridan, the great all-around athlete, is Irish, and the national game of baseball is claimed as of Irish origin.

True to His Allegiance.
    The Celts were the last of the races to accept Christianity, but having accepted it, they cling tenaciously. The Irish Celt is slow to adopt either religious or political innovations, but once his allegiance is given, it is extremely difficult to shake it.

Presidents of Irish Parentage.
    Presidents of Irish parentage were Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, James Polk, James Buchanan, Chester A. Arthur, and William McKinley. Calhoun, also Irish, said "War may make us great, but peace alone can make us both great and free."

For Fifteen Centuries the Reek Has Played Important Part in Country's History.
    It is in the month of July that the great annual pilgrimage of The Reek takes place.
    The Reek, sometimes known as Croagh Patrick, is the Mount Zion of the Emerald Isle. For on its summit St. Patrick is said to have wrung from the angel many promises for the salvation of the people he had made his own.
    For fifteen centuries this mountain has played an important part in the religious history of Ireland, and year by year people journey by the thousands up the mountain, which is about 3,000 feet high. It is a steep and difficult ascent, occupying the best part of three hours, and most of the pilgrims make it in the evening, so as to hold their vigil on the summit. There is a little chapel on the mountain top. But it is so small that few can find a place therein, and most kneel outside.
    The sermons preached are in Gaelic, and the masses continue from daybreak until noon.
    St. Patrick is on record as having visited the Reek in A.D. 441 and spent forty days on its summit hidden from the world by the mists hanging about the lower portion of the mountain. The legend says that he was assailed by huge black birds, which only took to flight when he rang his bell against them. The bell rolled down the mountain, but an angel came and restored it to the saint. All of the men of Erin heard this ringing of the bell, and it is stated now that it is often heard again.
    Afterward St. Patrick was visited by angels, and from their leader he wrested the following pledges: That as many souls as should be saved as could fill the horizon which he looked upon; that on every Thursday seven souls and on every Saturday twelve souls should be freed from purgatory; that whoever recited the last verse of his hymn constantly should suffer no torments in the next world, and that on the last day he should be appointed to sit in judgment on the sins of Gael.

Iowa Recorder
Greene, Butler, Iowa
March 19, 1913

    St. Patrick, the great apostle or saint of the Catholic faith, was born in Scotland in 372. For a time he was a captive and slave of the king of Dalaradia, in Ireland, from 388 to 395. From here he went to Gaul where he was ordained a priest and returned as a missionary to Ireland in 432, dying at Saul, March 17, 465, which day has ever since been sacred to his memory. St. Patrick is said to have had little education, but that he possessed so much discretion, along with great, good sense and piety that he so completely evangelized the petty and numerous tribes of Ireland that it became known as the "Island of Saints." His was such a remarkable character that many fabulous stories grew up about him and his wonderful power such as having banished all the frogs and snakes from Ireland, but which of course are given no credence now. But this great character possessed a wonderful power over men. The tribes he converted were of Pagan religion; they were war like in nature and but partially civilized. He first won over the chiefs and then the conversion of the clans was not a difficult task.

Iowa City Press Citizen
Iowa City, Johnson, Iowa
March 17, 1921

St. Patrick's Day
Patron Saint of The Emerald Isle
Made it Christian
Sad Celebration of His Land Today.
Core of the News.

By Dale E. Carrell.
    Today is known to the world as St. Patrick's Day, the birthday of the patron saint of Ireland, and to those of Celtic blood in every quarter of the globe it is a day of tender sentiment.
    Saint Patrick's biography is part legendary and part fact. There is a disagreement as to the year of his birth, where he was born and where he died, but his own memoirs and his works contribute sufficient evidence to show how great was this beloved man who did so much for Ireland.
    Some commentators say he was born about 373, others in 389. Some say he was born in Scotland, some in England and some in France. Some aver he died in France but most contend that he went to the great beyond in the land of his adoption, Ireland. Even the day of March on which he was born is a matter of contention. Some held for years that he was born on the night of the 8th of March, while others contend he first saw the light of day on the 9th of March, and history tells us that the two factions agreed to a compromise which resulted in the adding of 8 and 9 thus the 17th of March has become known as Saint Patrick's birthday.
    But wherever he was born and when, his name has been forever associated with Ireland. When he was but 16, it is said he was carried away by a band of marauders and was sold into slavery in Ireland. For over six years he is said to have tended the herds of Celtic chieftains. At the age of 22 he escaped from Ireland and wandered far even into a monastery near the Mediterranean Sea, where he studied hard and fitted himself for the carrying out of his dream, the Christianizing of Ireland. He returned to Ireland but this time not as a slave but as a missionary and thru his preaching, paganism, as taught by the Druids, was driven from the Emerald Isle. He is said to have founded over 360 churches and baptized thousands with his own hands. He also introduced the Latin language into Ireland and brought the then isolated isle into close touch with the civilization of western Europe. He brought enlightenment and civilization to Ireland and it is little wonder that the generations that have followed have held him in such reverence.
    Saint Patrick has left behind him, besides the history of his great achievements in Ireland, three important documents. One is known as his "Confession", which gives some account of his life. An other is addressed to a British or Welsh chief rebuking the murder of Christians,and the last is the "Hymn of St. Patrick" which is a cherished song of praise.
    Saint Patrick was not only a man of deep spiritual nature but he was also a leader, a man of action, who was able to overcome obstacles and obtain the end in view. His leadership and life has ever been an inspiration to Irishmen, and when his birthday is observed hearts have beaten faster, eyes have brightened and the dreams of liberty have been renewed. He gave liberty  and freedom to the Irish from paganism and ignorance, and he has inspired in later generations a hope of freedom and independence for the Irish as a nation whereby self-government is realized. Today is perhaps one of the saddest of all Saint Patrick's days for the Irish. The land of shamrocks, of beautiful lakes, of bog and fen, does not resound with the happy laughter of children, with prayers of thanksgiving of its people, but instead there are cries of anguish, agonizing groans of the dying, and blood is flowing on every hand coloring crimson the sacred soil where Saint Patrick lived and dyeing red the blue waters of the lakes and rivers. Yet after all, there doubtless is a ray of hope, a gleam of sunshine peeping thru which is brought by Saint Patrick, counselling courage and pointing out that as he overcame all obstacles, that even not far distant is the consummation of the dream of all Irishmen, freedom for their race. The fight has been long, the way strewn with death and sacrifice, but when victory comes with the solving of the Irish problem, it should be all the more revered and gratifying.

Iowa City Press Citizen
Iowa City, Johnson, Iowa
March 17, 1924

Address by Rev. John A. Glenn, Based on Ireland's Growth
Stirs Big Throng.
    St. Patrick, patron saint of Ireland, was honored nobly, Sunday night, at the auditorium which bears the famed glorified name.
    The program previously published herein, was presented to a large and appreciative audience.
    Vocal numbers by the High School Glee club solos by Miss Mary Pugh, William Holland, and Jeanne Wolfe were superb, and each artist won and responded to encores.
    Choice readings by Margaret Toomey and Mary Kelly likewise evoked warm encores.
    An especially pleasing number of novel type was the exhibitions of Irish jig dancing by Mrs. John Cox who set every foot in the house trembling in unison.
    All in all, the musical, Terpsichorcan, and literary program was one of merit, par excellence.

Eloquent Address Thrills.
    An eloquent address, by Rev. John A. Glenn, of Williamsburg, thrilled and stirred by its thoughtful, inspirational oratory.
    His subject was "Ireland's Place in the Growth of Civil and Religious Liberty."
    Father Glenn dwelt at length upon the disabilities, both civil and religious under which the people of Ireland suffered for many centuries. He called attention to the fact that probably no other European people could claim that they never oppressed or held in subjection the people of another language or race.

Irish Hate of Intolerance.
    The result of centuries of misrule, he said, and of barbarous oppression was that the people of Ireland became installed with an undying hatred of tyranny, and wherever they have gone in every part of the world for centuries past, they have been found fighting in the ranks of freedom.

Names Flame High to Heaven.
    Father Glenn declared also, that the name of Irishmen are emblazened on the pages, that record the struggle for civil and religious liberty of every people, of every continent under the sun.
    He dwelt particularly upon the part played by Irishmen and their descendants in America's Revolutionary struggle. He averred that a large element in the Colonies was willing to take less than complete independence, but nothing could satisfy men like John Carroll the first Catholic bishop of Baltimore, and his kinsman, Charles Carroll of Carrollton, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence; John Barry, father of the American Navy; Stephen Moylan, a general in the Colonial Army and scores of other sons of Erin. It is declared that one-half of the rank and file of the American Army were of Irish blood. Washington's adopted son said the the Irish soldiers outnumbered all other foreign warriors.

Denounces Intolerance.
    Father Glenn denounced the spirit of intolerance still existing at times, more or less virulent as at present- which "in the name of Americanism and with high sounding phases about liberty and our free institutions would deprive Catholics, Jews, and others of this country of the Civil and religious liberty for which the Fathers of the Revolution made the supreme sacrifice."

Wins All Hearts.
    Father Glenn's address, a superb bit of oratory, made a deep impression upon all. "It was a real candid and judicious survey of a highly interesting theme," declared Very Rev. William P. Shannahan in discussing the oration afterwards.