Since it is St. Patrick Day, I write here some of the things about this man of God and our common interest: honoring and loving woman in Christ. Anita McSorley writing for America, cited Thomas Cahill, Catholic author of the best-selling book How the Irish Saved Civilization, as asserting that St. Patrick is the first man after Christ to speak well of women. That is quite a revelation to me which knowledge I relish in my heart.
His Confession speaks of his unabashed, yet holy affection, admiration and commitment to specific, individual woman and all other women who in God's grace brought into his heart's embrace:
"And there was, besides, a most beautiful, blessed, native-born noble Irish [Scotta] woman of adult age whom I baptized; and a few days later she had reason to come to us to intimate that she had received a prophecy from a divine messenger [who] advised her that she should become a virgin of Christ and she would draw nearer to God. Thanks be to God, six days from then, opportunely and most eagerly, she took the course that all virgins of God take, not with their fathers’ consent but enduring the persecutions and deceitful hindrances of their parents. Notwithstanding that, their number increases, (we do not know the number of them that are so reborn) besides the widows, and those who practise self-denial. Those who are kept in slavery suffer the most. They endure terrors and constant threats, but the Lord has given grace to many of his handmaidens, for even though they are forbidden to do so, still they resolutely follow his example.
So it is that even if I should wish to separate from them in order to go to Britain, and most willingly was I prepared to go to my homeland and kinsfolk—and not only there, but as far as Gaul to visit the brethren there, so that I might see the faces of the holy ones of my Lord, God knows how strongly I desired this—I am bound by the Spirit, who witnessed to me that if I did so he would mark me out as guilty, and I fear to waste the labour that I began, and not I, but Christ the Lord, who commanded me to come to be with them for the rest of my life, if the Lord shall will it and shield me from every evil, so that I may not sin before him."
I dare say, St. Patrick is the Patron Saint of Women.
So like St. Patrick, I want to gather here the names of Irish Women who were recognized and honored by those who know them well and better than I do.
Sayali Bedekar Patil has the following names in her list:
Mary Robinson - "always the first name in Ireland, when it comes to fighting for the disadvantaged and the polishing of Ireland's international profile."
She is featured in this blog as Woman of Global Heart
Grace O'Malley - a feared sea pirate, an adept sea farer, a shrewd trader and a knowledgeable Chieftain . . . visit the British Queen and not only got herself pardoned, but also earned in her, a good friend and ally."
Mary McAleese - "assumed Presidential office on November 11, 1997, and since November 19, 2005, she is the longest serving elected female, following Sri Lanka's Chandrika Kumaratunga's retirement."
Catherine Hayes - "international opera and concert singer in the 19th century! She was the first ever Irish born opera diva and the first ever opera star to tour Australia, in those days . . . boasts of her receiving an encore from Queen Victoria and her 500 odd guests, when she performed in Buckingham Palace, London, in 1849."
Catherine Tynan -"is said that she could write one novel in one month. . . has two anthologies, 105 popular novels and countless newspaper articles to her credit. She has even given 16 poetry collections, 5 plays, 7 devotional books, one book on her dogs and twelve short story collections as well. Her work can be easily distinguished from others, for her own unique blend of Catholicism and feminism."
Sister Sarah Clarke - 'better known as the 'Joan of Arc' of the English prisons for her dogged investigations of human rights abuses in British prisons. She is famous in the world for freeing all those wrongly convicted in the cases of 'Birmingham Six', 'Guildford Four', 'Maguire family' and 'Judith Ward'."
Obviously the list is incomplete; for more inspiring women the Daughters of Maeve: 50 Irish Women Who Changed the World pictured below should be every Irish Woman's resource.
Here below is Erin Kilgour's 10 Best Irish Female Singers:
1. Enya - "Ireland’s best-selling solo artist, even creating great waves in the U.S."
2. Dolores O’Riordan - "definitely one of the best female singers to come out of Ireland."
3. Sinead O’Connor - "known as one of the best Irish female singers of all time."
4. Cara Dillon - "A favorite of Irish folk, . . . has been singing a solo career to success since 2001, earning her place as a great Irish singer."
5. Luan Parle - "awarded the 2007 Meteor award, leading the charge among the best Irish female singers of today’s music world."
6. Andrea Corr - "Debuting in 1990 leading the Celtic folk rock/pop rock group The Corrs . . . Taking on a solo career in 2007 . . . and creating a name as one of the best female Irish singers around.
7. Moya Brennan - "one of Ireland's best female singers, and hosted and presented the most comprehensive documentary on Irish music featured on public television."
8. Juliette Turner - "a phenomenal Irish singer, with a history of opening up for great, well known artists such as U2, Bob Dylan, and even Brian Kennedy and Peter Mulvey."
9. Gemma Hayes - "In 2003, Gemma Hayes flooded the charts with “Night On My Side,”. . .continues to play and definitely has a collective fan base rooting for her."
10. Sharon Shannon - "An artist that has earned the distinction of being among Irelands greatest female singers . . .”
My very own list - Irish Woman Violinist:
Sharon Helga Corr
Cora Venus Lunny