Status !

Your Bruges is becoming a hot item in the city ! With walks almost every day of the weekends it's a hit !
Even in the "low season" it's so busy. And the summer bookings are coming in on a fast tempo.

Check it out on Facebook ( ).
And spread the word, there's a new guide in town !
And check out the website !

woensdag 16 maart 2016

Saint Patrick's Day

Soon enough people all over the world will celebrate the Saint Patrick’s Day on March 17th 2016. The Chicago River will turn green once more; Irish (and other people) will come together to party big time for this popular saint.

Green is the color for this day, you can even get green beer then! You know that the former mayor of New York, Ed Koch, changed his name to “Ed O’Koch” in honor of Saint Patricius?

It’s not only a celebration in the Irish culture, but also a Christian feast that is celebrated by the Catholic Church, the Irish Church and other Anglican Churches.

Saint Patrick (born in 385 or 387, in Dumbarton, Scotland) was captured in his late teens and brought to Ireland as a slave. There he became a shepherd. In his despair he prayed to God in hopes of one day becoming a free man. In the six years as a slave he learned the language of the Irish and also the Druidic and pagan customs. At the end of those six years an angel came to him in a dream/vision and showed him the way to escape. He travelled 320 kilometer (200 miles) from Ballymena to Wexford and escaped to England on a ship. Unfortunately, he was captured again and returned as a slave. Persistent in becoming a free man, two months later he escaped again and travelled to Europe in quest of his fate.

As a pupil of St Germanus he remained 15 years in Auxerre and ordained as priest in 417. In 432 St Germanus ordained Patrick to Bishop and pope Celestius I sent him to Ireland. Patrick was to succeed St Palladius, who was the first Bishop of Ireland.

Patrick arrived in 433 in Slane but soon came in conflict with the local chieftains for lighting the fire in honor of Easter vigil. The druids, who feared the arrival of Patrick, predicted that this fire would burn forever if it wouldn’t be extinguished that night. Miraculously, despite all the efforts the fire kept alight the entire night and Patrick got permission by the king to start spreading his faith in Ireland.

Patrick preached a faith that was more joyful and praising than his Roman predecessor. It wasn’t a theology of sin, but of embracing the good in creation and closer to nature. The conversion of Ireland was the first example of Christianity that thrived in a culture which embraced nature instead of disowning, a culture that considered all of creation as holy.

Patrick was the first to organize the Catholic Church in Ireland, distributed it episcopal seats, set the standard for biblical scholarship and encouraged teaching in Latin.
He travelled the country and preached, taught, built churches, monasteries and schools.

Famous and legendary we can say!

The most known legend is how he expelled all snakes from Ireland (now you know why you won’t find snakes in Ireland…). The iconography for this legend is the victory over pagans.
Some pagans still carry a small snake on their jackets on St Patrick's Day as a form of protest...
The way he used a shamrock as an example of the Holy Trinity is also legendary.
When you find an image of St Patrick, it’s always with a shamrock in his hand.
He was a slave in the beginning of his life, so you can imagine he wasn’t a big fan of it. He was the first important person in the Catholic Church who openly opposed to it. Because he was a slave, it wasn’t hard for him to tell the people of the suffering slaves had to endure.

At the end of his life St Brigid came to him and weaved his shroud. They prayed together and Patrick saw how the whole of Ireland light up with the brightest rays of divine faith. He prayed this light would never be extinguished; an angel descended and told him his prayer would be answered.
Patrick died on March 17th 461 in Saul, Downpatrick, where he had built his first church.

And so a young Englishman, born with the name Patricius, died as an Irish man named Patrick. From that moment, Ireland and Christianity were never the same again.
With his death, the Irish stopped slavery, human sacrificing was unthinkable from then on.
Everyone knows him as the patron of Ireland, but did you know he’s also the patron of Nigeria?