"St. Patrick was traveling from Ireland to France to see and meet with St. Martin, the Bishop of Tours. It was during Christmas time, recounts a centuries-old tradition in an area along the Loire river. After leaving Bordeaux, Patrick stopped by the banks of the Loire before continuing the journey to lay down to refresh under the branches of a blackthorn bush, a large shrub that can grow up to 12 feet in high.
"Despite the intense wintry cold, the blackthorn honored the saintly traveler by shaking the snow off its branches, then immediately bloomed in a profusion of snow-white flowers that don't normally appear until the spring, to shelter the saintly wayfarer.
"Then after crossing the Loire, on the other side of the river when Patrick stopped to rest again, another blackthorn repeated the favor for its honored guest.
every Christmastime, those same two blackthorn bushes, also known as
sloes, continuously blossomed every year at to recall the visit of the
great saint. Les Fleurs de St-Patrice - the Flowers of St.
Patrick - repeated for centuries and became a local legend not only in
the village of St. Patrice near where the miraculous blooming happened,
but spread throughout the surrounding countryside."
In a recent commentary, National Catholic Register staff writer Joseph Pronechen reflected on these flowers and their annual appearance until World War I erupted and "people forgot the miracles of Christmas."
To access Mr. Pronechen's complete post, please visit:
National Catholic Register: Blogs: Joseph Pronechen: The Miraculous Christmas Flowers of St. Patrick (25 DEC 20)