Bishops Europe March Recipes Saints Side Dish

Saint Patrick

Feast Day: March 17

How To Make Colcannon

Today we are feasting with… Saint Patrick.

Colcannon is a delicious, traditional Irish dish made by combining creamy mashed potatoes and crisp cabbage. This recipe pays homage to the Irish culture and is a great fare for celebrating the life of one of Ireland’s greatest saints.

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I Am Patrick is based on the writings of Saint Patrick. Through historical re-enactments, expert interviews, and stunning cinematography, viewers experience Patrick’s incredible journey from a slave to the saint who courageously brought the Catholic faith to pagan Ireland.

One Man, One Island, One Church

Patrick was born in Roman Britain, but Irish pirates captured him when he was 16 years old. They brought him to the kingdom of Dál Riada in Ireland and sold him into slavery. His new masters forced him to work in the fields as a shepherd. 

Patrick came to view his enslavement as God’s test of his faith. During his six years of captivity, he became deeply devoted to Christianity through constant prayer. In a vision, he saw the children of pagan Ireland reaching out their hands to him and grew increasingly determined to convert the Irish to Christianity.

After several years in captivity, he was able to escape and returned home to Britain. Patrick then traveled to Auxerre, France, where he studied and entered the priesthood under the guidance of the missionary, Saint Germain. He was ordained a deacon by the Bishop of Auxerre around 418 A.D. 

As time passed, he continued to feel compelled to return to Ireland and bring Christ to the Irish people. In 432 A.D., he was ordained as a bishop and was soon sent by Pope Celestine I to Ireland to spread the Gospel.

After hearing Patrick’s message, entire kingdoms converted to Christianity. He often used the three-leafed shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity.

Patrick preached and converted all of Ireland for 40 years. He worked many miracles and wrote of his love for God in his autobiography, Confessio. After years of living in poverty, traveling, and enduring much suffering he died on March 17, 461.

Saint Patrick is the patron of Ireland.

Saint Patrick, pray for us.

For Love of God and Neighbor

May it never happen to me that my God should separate me from his people he has acquired in the outermost parts of the earth. I pray God that he give me perseverance and deign to grant that I should render him faithful witness until my passing from this life, all for the sake of my God. And if at any time I have imitated something that is good for the sake of my God whom I love, then I ask him to grant me that I may shed my blood for his name’s sake, even if this means that I should lack even a tomb, or that my corpse be horribly chopped up by dogs and wild beasts, or that the birds of heaven devour it.

I do hereby declare that should this happen to me, that I should have gained my soul as well as my body. For should any of these things happen, there is no doubt that on the day we shall arise in the brightness of the sun, in the glory of Christ Jesus our Redeemer, we shall be sons of the living God and fellow heirs with Christ and conformed to his image; for from him and through him and in him we shall reign.

The True Sun

But this sun that we see, rising each day for us by God’s command, it shall never reign, nor shall its splendor last… We, on the other hand, are those who believe in and adore Christ – the true sun. He is the sun that does not perish, and so we too, who do his will, shall not perish. And, as Christ will abide forever, so he who believes in him will abide forever, for Christ reigns with God the Father Almighty, and with the Holy Spirit, before all ages, and now, and through all the ages to come.

So here it is! I have, again and again, briefly set before you the words of my declaration. I bear witness in truth and joyfulness of heart before God and his holy angels that the one and only purpose I had in going back to that people from whom I had earlier escaped was the Gospel and the promises of God. I now pray for anyone who believes in and fears God and who may perchance come upon this writing that Patrick, the sinner and the unlearned one, wrote in Ireland.

-Saint Patrick

Download Colcannon Recipe

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  • 3 large Russet Potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1/2 head Napa Cabbage, stemmed and coarsely shredded
  • 1/4 cup chopped Green Onion
  • 1 stick Unsalted Butter
  • 1/4 cup Whole Milk or Cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground Black Pepper

Preparation Instructions:

  1. Bring a medium pot of water to boil.
  2. Add the potatoes and boil until softened, approximately 20 minutes.
  3. Drain the potatoes and put in to a large bowl.
  4. In a different pot, blanch the cabbage in boiling water for 1 minute.
  5. Drain and reserve cabbage.
  6. With a hand mixer, mash the potatoes until smooth and creamy.
  7. Add the green onion, salt, pepper, butter, and milk.
  8. Add the blanched cabbage and stir well.