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"... Set me as a seal on your heart, like a ring, on your hand, for love is as strong as death, fierce, like hell ... its arrows are arrows of fire, it is a strong flame, and great waters are not can extinguish my love ... ''                            

 "Song of Songs" by King Solomon



Love that has become a Legend:

The Claddagh Ring


 I remember well the first time I was in the city of Sligo - Sligo, and the feelings that have always been preserved in my heart about this region. I was in his neighborhood on a business trip and after completing the business, just wandered the streets of the city, passing past restaurants, pubs, looking through the windows of small souvenir shops ... Now I can not even remember why I went to a small travel agency, because I did not plan to order no excursion ... Looking through the booklets, I accidentally read that one of the activities of this agency - to help the Irish to trace the tracks of those of their relatives who lived in these parts, were abducted by pirates and sold in ra GUSTs. For a long time I could not believe that the Irish were sold into slavery, it somehow did not conform to my school knowledge, we always knew that the inhabitants of Africa were sold to slavery and it was there that slavers found their "goods" on which they made fortunes. But the Irish, as slaves? ...

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 This information for a long time remained in my mind only as an unusual information. Behind the routine of life, I could not find her place in my articles, which, for the most part, were written on the instructions of the editorial board, until some time ago in one of the bookstores I came across an article about the Claddagh ring - Claddagh, and the legend about his appearance, and then I was able to fully admit in my mind that wild idea for me that the Irish really, like a living commodity, along with the black inhabitants of Africa, were sold into slavery.

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The design of the ring is very unusual. The crown symbolizes the one and true love, the heart - undying loyalty and devotion, and the two connecting hands is a symbol of true friendship, which, like cement, holds the hearts of true love for two.
The Claddagh ring was soon worn by all Irish women, and often it was the only legacy in the family of fishermen that mothers could pass on to their daughters.
The story of the love that survives the centuries and became a legend, and the mystical and beautiful Claddah ring, occurred more than three centuries ago on the west coast of Ireland, near the city of Galway - Galway in one of the fishing villages of Claddagh - Claddagh ...
 Young fisherman Richard Joyce - Richard Joyce went to sea, as usual, as many village men did this day after day. The sea is always fraught with danger, a storm, a strong current, pirates ... That day became the most unhappy in the life of Richard. Together with all the men of the Claddagh village who had left the sea, he was abducted by Spanish pirates and sold into slavery on the northern coast of Africa. So Richard became the property of a rich and distinguished jeweler, who began to teach him his craft. The desperation of the young fisherman was boundless. Only recently he became engaged to his beloved and the lovers were soon going to get married. Years passed ... Some of his friends reconciled themselves to their lot of slaves, some could not bear the hard work and yearning for their native Ireland and died. Richard continued to cherish his love in his heart, his faith in his beloved and the hope that one day he would see her again. Every day, working with gold on his master, Richard left for himself a speck of gold, and so he did day after day, year after year...
In 1698, by decree of the English King George III, all the Irish, as subjects of the British Empire, enslaved, were given freedom, and finally the day came when Richard could return home. By this time he had become a famous jeweler and his former master did not want him to leave it. He offered Richard to marry his daughter and half his wealth, but Richard went to Ireland. In his native village, he found his beloved, who had faithfully waited for him all these years, and as a token of his and their love, Richard handed her a ring that she made in slavery with thoughts of their love.

But that's not all about the world-famous ring. There are several important rules about how to wear it, and in this case the ring becomes "speaking":
If you put it on your right hand and turn your heart away from you, it means that your heart is free. On the same right hand, but the heart of the ring is turned inward - a sign that you have met your only love. And only when you are already engaged or married, you need to wear the ring "Claddagh" on your left hand with your heart turned inwards, and it is clear to those around you that two lovers and each other's hearts are united forever ...

In our world there are many legends about true love, for the history of the development of our civilization has not been one thousand years. And to this day many enthusiastic creative people travel all over the world with only one purpose - to learn about those ancient legends that are still a mystery to us - today's descendants of the human race in the 21st century. Unfortunately, all those legends about highly-spiritualized love and devotion to the end, which are known to me personally, had a tragic ending ...

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Especially I was touched to the depths of my soul by the story of Irishman Richard Joyce. Stolen by Spanish pirates and sold to a wealthy jeweler in Algiers, he did not lose hope, the only thing that no one could take him even in conditions of slavery. I remembered the words belonging to the mathematician Thales from the city of Millet, ancient Greece -
"What is common to all? Hope, because it has those who have nothing else."

I think we should be grateful to History, which has preserved for us simply a striking example of the life of a spirit-strong man who, in slavery, did not lose faith in his love and hope for freedom. I so want to say - in THEIR love, but, unfortunately, I did not find in the sources the name of my beloved Richard, who faithfully waited for him all those long years, keeping all the same single hope.

An example of the extraordinary life of Richard Joyce, a poor fisherman from the 17th century Irish village, and his love story with a happy ending, once again proves that only by our own efforts we create our own happiness that will inevitably come to us one day. If only we do not lose on the vital roads of our Faith, Hope and Love.











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