The first St-Patrick`s Day parade was celebrated in Montreal in 1759, three years before the start of New York’s well-known parade, in 1762. Rain or shine, snow or sleet, the parade has run consecutively each year since 1824. My great grandfather arrived from Ballybunion, Ireland in Montreal after the Great Famine and was one of the organizers of the St-Patrick’s Day Parade.
It has also been voted by the National Geographic one of the top 10 St. Patrick`s Day celebrations in the world! This does not surprise me. St-Patrick’s Day celebrations are times when politics are set aside and the French and English speaking people parade in the streets of Montreal, Irish pubs are filled with revellers singing, dancing and drinking various ales and draughts …of course there is a lot of green beer too; servers are dressed in costumes dated back to the 19th century.
St-Patrick`s Basilica in Montréal opened on March 17th in 1847 and this church has an even more significant meaning to me as my father’s cousin, Father Michael O’Donnell gave his first mass at St-Patrick’s Baslilica in 1979…a very solemn and moving moment for friends and family.
As a young child, St-Patrick’s explanation of the Holy Trinity made so much sense…
child moves gracefully,
field of three-leaved-grasse
chanting, “three in one!”
© Tournesol ’15
Resources: Montreal Irish Parade – historian’s corner