Brewers worldwide have been ramping up production, six packs have been flying off the shelves, and priests everywhere are giddy with anticipation. Why? Because International Buy a Priest a Beer Day (IBAPABD) is right around the corner!
This ancient and joyful feast—dedicated to the celebration of hardworking priests—falls this year on September 7th*!
Origins of Said Venerable Feast
This festive holiday traces its origins back to the pious deed of St. Hopswald of Aleyard, the first man to buy his priest a beer. The legend goes that St. Hopswald, a master brewer by trade, was a Teutonic pagan who was converted and baptized by a zealous Catholic priest.
One day, St. Hopswald committed a grievous sin. Without wasting a moment, he ran quickly to his priest and confessed. Later that day, as he was particularly enjoying the peace of a clean conscience, St. Hopswald was so filled with gratitude for his priest’s sacramental ministry that he rushed to the rectory and offered to buy his priest a beer.
Okay, if you haven’t figured it out by now, St. Hopswald wasn’t real, but your priest is, and without priestly ministry, getting to heaven would be well nigh impossible!
Believe it or not, priests are real people, and they enjoy socializing over good food and drink as much as anyone. They also have a thankless and difficult job, a job that we couldn’t get to heaven without. Priests are the lifeblood of the Church, and they deserve some appreciation.
So with that in mind, I would challenge you to do something concrete to show appreciation to your priest today. Yes, it could be inviting him out for a beer, or it could be having him over to share dinner with your family. Be creative if you want, but give back to your priest somehow and let him know that you are grateful for his ministry.
Of course, your priest may be insanely busy and unable to schedule a time for a lengthier visit. That’s okay. Maybe you could leave a bottle of wine on his doorstep. You could also offer a rosary or a holy hour for him and his intentions (or better yet, more than one), and let him know that you are regularly praying for him. At the very least, express to him your gratitude, in person or via a note, for his faithful service and answering God’s call to the priesthood.
I fully expect there to be a lot of happy, encouraged priests by the conclusion of this venerable holiday. Gentlemen, ready your brews!
* IBAPABD is a movable feast, falling on the second Monday in September. Unfortunately, I announced on Facebook that it would be the 7th this year, until I was notified that the 7th is the first Monday in September! To avoid further confusion, IBAPABD will no longer be moveable. The Pope has agreed to make it fall permanently on the 9th next year. But since the announcement is out already, it’s on the 7th this year!