The world over people will be wearing green and celebrating St. Patrick’s Day this week and doing all sorts of things Irish. There will be leprechauns, rainbows and pots of gold… The actual day that it is celebrated is March 17, because that is that date that the great man is supposed to have died. But who was Saint Patrick anyway?
I did a bit of a search around, since in South Africa we are not huge St. Patrick’s day celebrators… and I don’t think anyone would notice if you wore green on the day or not – unless of course you are of Irish descent! So this is what I found:
Saint Patrick was born in Wales and was captured by Irish Raiders when he was sixteen. He spent 6 years as a slave in captivity, learning the language and culture, before escaping and returning home to his family.
Later after completing his Bible Studies he returned to Ireland as a missionary. He is known as one of the first ever Christian missionaries to travel abroad to spread the gospel and in that sense he provided an inspirational example to Christians that followed in generations after him. He was in fact, fulfilling the Great Commission of Matthew 28:19-20 and at the same time providing a model for those missionaries to follow. Because of his achievement March 17 is traditionally a day, particularly in Ireland where it is a spiritual as well as a fun-filled holiday, when missionaries the world over are prayed for.
So Saint Patrick brought Christianity to Ireland and for this reason he is their patron saint. Legend has it that he was very good at explaining the gospel to the resident pagans. For example he explained the Trinity, to the ancient druids using the shamrock, which looks like a three-leafed clover, three leaves on the one stem: One part for the Father, one part for the Son and one part for the Holy Spirit.
He is also supposed to have chased snakes off the island… but this could be truth or symbolic or legend, depending on which source you read!
If you want to know a whole lot more about St. Patrick then this is the nicest all-inclusive St Patrick’s Day spot I could find that has factoids, history, crafts and recipes.
And when it comes to Kiddy Crafts head straight for the Crafty Crow’s St. Patrick’s Day Collection.
That’s It… We hope you have lots of Irish fun this week!