Irish Blessings, Irish Traditions

October – Month of the Rosary

October is Rosary Month. On October 7, Irish Catholics commemorate the Blessed Mother’s Feast of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary. October was also the month in which Mary appeared to shepherd children in Fatima, Portugal, for the final time, encouraging them to “say the rosary every day to obtain global peace.”

What is the Holy Rosary?

The term “rosary” comes from the Latin word “rosarium,” which translates as “rose crown” or “rose garland.” To those who practice the Catholic Faith, the Rosary is a method of prayer that we employ in conjunction with the Rosary’s titular prayer beads. When referring to the prayer, the word Rosary is usually capitalized, whereas when discussing the beads, it is in lower case.

According to pious tradition, Saint Dominic received the idea for the Rosary when the Virgin Mary appeared to him in an apparition in 1214. Our Lady of the Rosary is the title given to this Marian apparition. Alanus de Rupe, a Dominican priest and theologian, promoted the Rosary practice by establishing the “fifteen rosary promises” and establishing several rosary confraternities.

Rosary devotion is one of the most defining characteristics of popular Catholic spirituality. The Rosary inspires Catholics to reflect on the mysteries of Jesus and Mary’s lives. As Catholics, meditation is critical to daily life. Meditation, according to the Catholic Church’s Catechism, “involves thought, imagination, emotion, and desire.” This mobilization of faculties is necessary in order to strengthen our faith convictions, prompt our hearts to convert, and fortify our resolve to follow Christ.”

What are Rosary Beads?

Irish Rosary beads come in all shapes, colors, sizes and quality and usually have a Celtic cross and Saint Patrick Medal or Saint Brigid Medal center. Some rosaries are strung with pearl, crystal, wood and even Connemara marble. In its simplest form, the rosary is a tool used to facilitate prayer and meditation. A rosary bead keeps track of the prayers while they are repeated aloud or in the mind. Utilizing the rosary beads to keep count of the number of times you’ve recited a specific prayer enables you to calm your thoughts and focus more effectively on your prayer.

How to Pray the Holy Rosary

The steps to praying the Rosary are:

  1. Make the Sign of the Cross and say the “Apostles’ Creed”
  2. Say the “Our Father”
  3. Say three “Hail Marys” for Faith, Hope, and Charity
  4. Say the “Glory Be”
  5. Announce the First Mystery and then say the “Our Father”
  6. Say ten “Hail Marys” while meditating on the Mystery
  7. Say the “Glory Be” (Optional: Say the “O My Jesus” prayer requested by Mary at Fatima)
  8. Announce the Next Mystery; then say the “Our Father” and repeat these steps (6 through 8) as you continue through the remaining Mysteries.
  9. Say the closing prayers: the “Hail Holy Queen” and “Final Prayer”
  10. Make the “Sign of the Cross”

Celtic Holidays, Irish Blessings, Irish Traditions

Irish Blessings for Thanksgiving

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Grace before a meal
May this food restore our strength,
giving new energy to tired limbs,
and new thoughts to weary minds.
May this drink restore our souls,
giving new vision to dry spirits,
and new warmth to cold hearts.
And once nourished and refreshed,
May we give thanks to Him who
gives us all and makes us blest.
Adapted from an old Irish blessing

In This Irish Home
May these walls be filled with laughter,

may it reach from floor to rafter.
May the roof keep out the rain,
may sunshine warm each windowpane.
And may the door be open wide
to let the Good Lord’s love inside.

Blessing before a meal
Beannaigh sinne, a Dhia.
Beannaigh ár mbia agus ár ndeoch.
ós tú a cheannaigh sinn go daor
Agus a shaor sinn ó olc,
Mar a thug tú an chuid seo dúinn
Go dtuga tú dúinn ár gcuid den ghlóir shíoraí.

Bless us, O God.
Bless our food and our drink.
Since you redeemed us so dearly
and delivered us from evil,
as you gave us a share in this food
so may you give us a share in eternal life.

 

 

Irish Blessings, Irish Traditions, Mother's Day

Irish Blessings and Irish Sayings for Mothers Day

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“May you always know… The fragrance of flowers, The feel of the sun on your shoulders and always – the warmth of your child’s love.” An Irish Mother’s Blessing

 

 

“There is but one and only one on earth there is no other. In Heaven a noble work was done when God gave man a Mother.” old Irish Saying
“All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does. That’s his.” ~ Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest, 1895

“God made a wonderful mother, A mother who never grows old: he made her smile of the sunshine, And he molded her heart of gold; In her eyes He placed bright shining stars, In her cheeks fair roses you see; God made a wonderful mother, And He gave that dear mother to me.” ~ Pat O’Reilly, Excerpt from his poem Wonderful Mother

 

“A Mother is one who can take the place of all others but whose place no one else can take.” old Irish saying

“Gods most precious work of art is the warmth and love of a Mothers heart.” old Irish saying

Celtic Holidays, Easter, Irish Blessings

Irish Easter Blessing

 

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May God bless you at Easter, and keep you all year through. May God give you all the faith you need, to make your dreams come true. May His love and wisdom always help, to guide you on your way. May His light shine down upon you now, to bless your Easter Day. -Author Unknown

Beannachtaí Ná Cásca oraibh (May the blessings of Easter be on you)

Happy Easter!

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Celtic Holidays, Irish Blessings

Irish Easter Traditions

Easter is an import religious holiday in Ireland. Ireland has many traditions for celebrating Easter including some of which have derived old Celtic practices having more to do with agricultural calendar. You see Easter falls during spring time coinciding with the Vernal Equinox.  Today Easter preparations begin with the Lenten season and end as many Irish holiday celebrations do with good food, family and lots of chocolate.

Here are some of Ireland’s old Easter traditions:

Irish Easter Preparations:

Let the Spring cleaning begin. Time to clean your house thoroughly inside and out or in Ireland if you had a thatched cottage it would be timeeaster ijc to apply the whitewash.

Like here in the states you would shop for new clothes for Easter or your Sundays best.

Good Friday Irish Traditions and Superstitions:

The Irish say if you die on this Good Friday, you go directly to heaven.

Remain quiet from noon until 3pm.

A child born on Good Friday and baptized on Easter Sunday will have the gift of healing.

All chicken eggs laid on Good Friday are marked with a Celtic cross and are to be eaten on Easter Sunday.

Easter Saturday:

Go to church and have holy water blessed. Drink three sips of holy water for good luck and sprinkle everything, including family members and farm animals for good luck.

Easter Sunday:

Get up at sunrise and do a celebration dance. Gather your family and go to a hilltop to see the sunrise. Catholics believed that this is the Savior rising from his grave.

Give colored eggs as gifts to family and friends.

Celebrate Easter Sunday with a large Irish family feast, traditionally, leek soup and roast lamb.

Celtic Holidays, Irish Blessings

Irish Easter Traditions

Easter is an import religious holiday in Ireland. Ireland has many traditions for celebrating Easter including some which have derived old Celtic practices having more to do with agricultural calendar. You see Easter falls during spring time coinciding with the Vernal Equinox.  Today Easter preparations begin with the Lenten season and end as many Irish holiday celebrations do with good food, family and lots of chocolate.

Here are some of Ireland’s old Easter traditions:

Irish Easter Preparations:

Let the Spring cleaning begin. Time to clean your house thoroughly inside and out or in Ireland if you had a thatched cottage it would be time to apply the whitewash.

Like here in the states you would shop for new clothes for Easter or your Sundays best.

Good Friday Irish Traditions and Superstitions:

The Irish say if you die on this Good Friday, you go directly to heaven.

Remain quiet from noon until 3pm.

A child born on Good Friday and baptized on Easter Sunday will have the gift of healing.

All chicken eggs laid on Good Friday are marked with a Celtic cross and are to be eaten on Easter Sunday.

Easter Saturday:

Go to church and have holy water blessed. Drink three sips of holy water for good luck and sprinkle everything, including family members and farm animals for good luck.

Easter Sunday:

Get up at sunrise and do a celebration dance. Gather your family and go to a hilltop to see the sunrise. Catholics believed that this is the Savior rising from his grave.

Give colored eggs as gifts to family and friends.

Celebrate Easter Sunday with a large Irish family feast, traditionally, leek soup and roast lamb.

Irish Blessings, Irish Recipes

Traditional Irish Shepherd’s Pie

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This is what I’m fixing to make tonight. How about you?

Cottage pie or shepherd’s pie is a meat pie with a crust of mashed potato.The term cottage pie is known to have been in use in 1791, when the potato was being introduced as an edible crop affordable for the poor. (The term “cottage” meaning a modest dwelling for rural workers). In early cookery books, the dish was a means of using leftover roasted meat of any kind (it was a recipe to re-purpose left overs) , and the pie dish was lined with mashed potato as well as having a mashed potato crust on top.
The term “shepherd’s pie” appeared around 1877, and since then it has been used synonymously with “cottage pie”, in America and Ireland regardless of whether the principal ingredient was beef or “mutton.”

Our families traditional Irish Shepherd’s Pie recipe was born from many a cold nights at our family cottage. Often in Ireland you can find a mix package.
Ingredients
o 1 tablespoon olive oil
o 1 teaspoon black pepper and or salt
o 1lb – 1 1/2lb ground beef
o 1 large onion, finely diced
o 3 -4 large carrots, finely diced
o 1 cup frozen peas (or if you’re in a rush just use frozen peas and carrots)
o thyme, finely chopped to taste if you have it.
o 2 tablespoons flour or corn starch
o 1 or 2 tablespoon butter
o 1 can tomato paste
o 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
o 1 cup beef stock
o mashed potatoes made w/butter and milk (6 cups, fresh, or store bought or leftover if you’re in a rush)
o paprika and grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Directions…
Pre-heat oven to 400°.
Sauté carrots in the olive oil until they get tender if using fresh. Then  add the onions and sauté for a minute or two then add the chop meat. Season with black pepper, salt (I prefer sea salt) and thyme. Cook it all up until browned then drain fat away.
Add the butter and frozen peas. Sprinkle on flour or corn starch and mix well. Then  add tomato paste, and Worcestershire sauce. Mix is all very well. Then add the beef stock. (I also add a wee bit of stout but that’s our family secret…shh!)
Allow mixture to reduce down until you have a thick meaty gravy. Season to taste.
Remove mixture from the heat. Then grease up an oven proof dish about 9×13 with butter and add the meat.
Spoon the mashed potatoes over top. Your can get creative with your pattern. Add some butter and sprinkle with paprika and Parmesan cheese if using. Bake for about 30 minutes, really until the mash potato are browned on top.
Serve with some crusty bread or traditional Irish Brown Bread to mop up that yummy sauce! You can purchase brown bread or a mix at your local Irish Shop.

Irish Blessings, Irish Traditions, Mother's Day

An Irish Prayer for Mary’s Month … May

“Mother Mary, during this the fairest month of all the year, may we always remember that you reveal to us the mother love of God and that the image of Madonna and child is also an image of God and us. Help us to see that God loves each of us with a mother’s passion, even greater than the one you experienced when you held Jesus in your arms. And, should St. Peter lock us out of the front door of heaven, please be on guard at the back door so that we may be safe with you, as the Irish say, a half hour before the devil knows we’re dead. Amen.” Fr. Andrew Greeley

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