The first St. Patrick's Day parade took place not in Ireland, but in the United States. Irish soldiers serving in the English military marched through New York City on March 17, 1762. Along with their music, the parade helped the soldiers to reconnect with their Irish roots, as well as fellow Irishmen serving in the English army.
Over the next 35 years, Irish patriotism among American immigrants flourished, prompting the rise of so-called "Irish Aid" societies, like the Friendly Sons of Saint Patrick and the Hibernian Society. Each group would hold annual parades featuring bagpipes and drums.
In 1848, several New York Irish aid societies decided to unite their parades to form one New York City St. Patrick's Day Parade. Today, that parade is the world 's oldest civilian parade and the largest in the United States.
I believe the best way we can honor St. Patrick today is to do as he did: listen to the Voice of our Lord and God, and follow Him. God's Voice speaks to us all the time - but in the din of our daily, often self-involved lives, to say nothing of big parades! - we rarely hear His Words.
Tonight, when you go to bed after your parties and parades, close your eyes and think of God. Say His Name slowly and repeatedly - it will surely relax you and put your mind at peace, and thus, closer to His. Remember His Love for you, which is changeless and unchangeable.
You will sleep well in His loving Arms.
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