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Young people from Ireland pose with a banner in 2012 after carrying the International Eucharistic Congress Bell up to the summit of Croagh Patrick for Reek Sunday in Ireland (CNS)

The Reek Sunday ascent of Croagh Patrick in County Mayo was called off due to high winds

Crowds at New York's St Patrick's Day parade (CNS)

How did St Patrick’s Day become such a successful ‘brand’?

'The first reading at Mass of St Patrick, from Jeremiah, gives us a wonderful image of God touching the mouth of the prophet so that he will speak not his own words, but God’s'

MAGNIFICAT: The week ahead

How to get more from MAGNIFICAT, the daily spiritual life companion

Cardinal Egan is seen outside St Patrick's Cathedral following his installation Mass in 2000 (CNS)

Cardinal Egan retired as archbishop of New York in 2009 and was instrumental in helping the city recover in the aftermath of 9/11

Members of the New York City Police Department march past protesters at the St Patrick's Day parade in March (AP)

Cardinal Timothy Dolan supports New York’s St Patrick’s Day committee ahead of next year’s parade

Thousands gather of Dublins O'Connell Street for this years St Patricks day parade (PA)

Hail, glorious St Patrick!

But beware the dangerous new tradition that paints 20th century Ireland as a grim theocracy

St Patrick depicted at St Patrick Church in Glen Cove, New York (CNS photo/Gregory A Shemitz, Long Island Catholic)

I always identify with the religious and patriotic sentiments it expresses