May your blessings outnumber-An Irish Toast
The shamrocks that grow,
And may trouble avoid you
Wherever you go.
In a few days, the world will see green. Not green with envy, mind you, but green with shamrocks, leprechauns, cabbage, and of course, beer. St. Patrick's Day, the 17th day of March, the one day when everyone is Irish and celebrates Ireland's patron saint, Saint Patrick.
Although not Irish himself, Saint Patrick was a Christian missionary who spread the message of faith throughout Ireland. To commemorate his influence, the Catholic Church marked the anniversary of St. Patrick's death as a feast day.
The spread of the Irish tradition began during the 19th and 20th centuries when many Irish immigrants sought refuge in other parts of the world. One cause of the departure was the Great Potato Famine in 1845. Potato Blight spread across the countryside and wiped out the entire potato crop on which Ireland was so dependent. Thus began a mass exodus where nearly 2 million Irish fled their homeland to avoid starvation.