Monday, March 17, 2008

Saint Urho's Day

Happy St. Patrick's Day, all of you Americans who have some Irish in their ancestry.

Actually, this Irish-American is also German, Swedish, Dutch, Scots and English. How many varieties are you?

I completely forgot about St. Urho, however, until I realized that everyone on this morning's newscast was wearing (or at least they claimed to be wearing!) a touch of green somewhere or another on their body. How could I have done such a thing? I will never be forgiven by all of you Finnish-Americans out there!

Now, I don't lay claim to any Finnish ancestry, so I can be forgiven just a teeny bit, perhaps.

Not that there ever really was such a person as St. Urho, mind you. It seems that he was merely a figment of one Richard Mattson's imagination, created in 1956 in response to being questioned by an Irish-American about the Finns' lack of having a saint such as St. Patrick.

Prior to a month ago, I had never heard of St. Urho -- and neither had you, I'll bet! Then, one of my old friends from college told me about him. Said she was going to be in charge of a music celebration in his honor March 16th -- yesterday, as a matter of fact. I remembered to send her a congratulatory e-mail.

You can read all about it on Wikipedia ... songs, poems, statues, the works ... all for a made-up saint whose legend is barely 52 years old. Imagine that!

I think it's just a stitch! In another fifty or so years, many people will probably believe that this legend is as old as the one of St. Patrick.

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