- Bishop John Hughes, bishop of New York, March 20, 1847
Today is St. Patrick's Day, when many folks will dine on green-colored food.
But some scholars say that for the people of Ireland, green food is a sad reminder of the great Irish famine of the 1840s.
When a blight destroyed nearly every potato crop in Ireland in 1846, there were only enough potatoes left to feed people for one month. People were left hungry. Many began to eat edible items found in the forest or seas, such as shellfish, roots, worms and even grass. Stories are told of people dying, with their mouths green from the grass.
About one million Irish died during the six years of the famine. Between 1845 and 1855, nearly 2.1 million persons moved from Ireland in search of a better life.
About 70 percent of those leaving eventually settled in the United States. To help the immigrants adjust to life in America, Bishop John Hughes is credited with bringing the St. Vincent de Paul Society to New York City.
- Little Black Book, Diocese of Saginaw