An Old Irish Blessing

We take St. Patrick’s Day pretty seriously around our house. I come from Irish ancestors on both my mother and father’s side. My first name is Erin {Gaelic for “Ireland”}, my maiden name began with “Mc,” and we know exactly where all those relatives lived on the Emerald Isle and when they headed over to America.

Imagine my serious glee when I marched in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Dublin AND visited the Blarney Castle, which was built by my ancestors. Oh yes, that visit to Ireland just brought out the Irish pride in my blood even more!

I love sharing this Irish history and heritage with our children. Just as my parents did for us growing up, I make an Irish beef stew on March 17th and serve as many green foods as I can that day – green apples, broccoli, green Kool-Aid, and so on!

Along with all the fun elements of celebrating this day, it is a chance to share some special spiritual aspects of our Irish ancestry as well. We always read about St. Patrick and his mission to share Jesus with those who had previously persecuted him.

The Irish also have many beautiful, poetic prayers that the boys and I have been reading this year. To take it a step further, we made one of these prayers a visual lesson and you can easily as well!

We used this old Irish blessing…

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

After reading through the blessing a few times, the boys and I used watercolors to illustrate our favorite parts of the blessing. We chose watercolors because we liked the sping-like effect they created for our pictures of rain and flowers and greenery! Choose an art medium your children love to make it fun for all of you!

When the illustration is done, add the words of the blessing to the picture to complete the blessing craft! I love that our family can look at these and be reminded of the sweet prayer through words AND pictures!

Does your family celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in a fun or meaningful way? Is there another special day you make a big deal of in your home because of your ancestry?

Erin Mohring is a follower of Jesus Christ, a doctor’s wife, and stay-at-home mom to three lively young boys. The hubby and Erin have been blissfully married for nine years. Big J is six, Little J is almost four, and Double J just joined the fam in March of 2012! She’s learning quickly about life in the world of boys – which you can follow at Home with the Boys!