March 1, 2015

Saint Patrick

Feast Day - March 17th

Saint Patrick has to be one of the most famous saints in the secular world. It seems like on March 17th “everyone is Irish” and the green beer flows in abundance. But why is Saint Patrick associated with the Irish? Was he an Irishman? No. In fact he was born in England.

In his early 20s Patrick had a spiritual conversion, and in a dream it seemed as though all the children of Ireland were stretching out their hands to him. He understood the vision to be a call to do mission work in pagan Ireland which was dominated by the druids at this time. After years of study, Patrick was ordained a priest, and then later a bishop while he worked tirelessly to bring the faith to the Irish.

In a relatively short time the island had deeply experienced the Christian spirit, and was prepared to send out missionaries whose efforts were greatly responsible for Christianizing Europe.

What’s so special about the shamrock? Saint Patrick used the shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity (God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit). The 3-leaf clover has been associated with him and the Irish ever since.

So next time you order some green beer, and claim to be Irish (each March 17th), remember that Saint Patrick played a great role in bringing Christianity to Ireland, which spread to Europe, and eventually here to us in North America. We have a lot to thank Saint Patrick for - most notably our faith.