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Cat in the Stax: Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

By Ethan Shea

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It seems like a lot of these Cat in the Stax blogs are turning into holiday celebrations, but as we all know, tomorrow is St. Patrick’s Day, and because of Villanova’s enduring ties to Ireland, I’d love to talk about how you can celebrate Irish heritage here at Falvey.

"Emma Dabiri"

Irish Author Emma Dabiri

To begin with some of the history of St. Patrick’s Day, the holiday originated as a celebratory feast to honor the death of St. Patrick, who is known to have brought Christianity to Ireland. The Irish symbolism of the clover stems from St. Patrick, as he is rumored to have explained the concept of Christianity’s Holy Trinity to the people of Ireland with the help of a clover.

Villanova University has a top-notch Irish Studies program, so we know there is no better way to celebrate St. Patrick than by reading some prominent Irish authors. Villanova is especially lucky to have one particular Irish author, Emma Dabiri, as the Charles A. Heimbold Jr. Chair of Irish studies this semester. Her books Twisted (published as Don’t Touch My Hair in Ireland) and What White People Can Do Next were both remarkably successful and met with critical acclaim. Dabiri will be speaking on April 4 in Falvey’s Speaker’s Corner, so make sure you stop by! A recording of Dabiri’s recent Literary Festival reading is also available for viewing here.

"Chalice in 'Thirst for the Divine' Exhibit"

Chalice in “Thirst for the Divine” Exhibit

Another famous Irish writer, James Joyce, recently celebrated the 100th anniversary of his classic novel Ulysses. You can read all about the centennial celebration on this blog.

A personal favorite novel of mine, The Picture of Dorian Gray, was written by the Irish poet Oscar Wilde. Although Wilde is known for his poetry, this work of prose is timeless and has even been adapted to film.

I’d also like to draw your attention to an article by Rebecca Oviedo, a Distinctive Collections Archivist here at Falvey. Oviedo noted that this article features Villanova “as the first collection in a new series on ‘Global Archives’ from RTÉ Century Ireland, which highlights the rich historical collections available to researchers of the Irish Revolution in archives at home and abroad.” You can read the article for yourself here!

Furthermore, Villanova recently opened an exhibit for a medieval chalice that came from Ireland over 500 years ago. This chalice has not been used in a Mass in over half of a millennium, so given Villanova University President the Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA, PhD, intends to do just that during Mass on March 20 at 10:30 a.m. in St. Thomas of Villanova Church, a historic moment is just around the corner.

In addition to the chalice, Distinctive Collections and Digital Engagement (DCDE) has several items on display in support of the exhibit. If you would like to see these artifacts for yourself, the exhibit is available for viewing until April 20 at the Connelly Art Center Gallery.


Headshot of Ethan SheaEthan Shea is a first-year English Graduate Student and Graduate Assistant at Falvey Library.


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Last Modified: March 16, 2022