Saint Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland. He was devoted to converting the Irish to the Christian faith. In his early years, Saint Patrick was a Pagan, but an experience in his teen years changed him, and he became a devoted follower of the Gospel.
As a teenager, Patrick’s village in the British Mainland was attacked by a group of Irish outlaws. Patrick was captured and taken to Ireland as a slave. After some years, he managed to escape from servitude. When he was free, he made the decision to study at a French monastery, under the tutelage of the Bishop of St. Auxerre. For over a decade, he learned about the Gospel, and in time he was appointed as a Bishop in Ireland.
The Celtic Druids did not appreciate his efforts to turn the Irish from the old ways, and they put him in prison several times, but Patrick always managed to escape. He continued to preach the Gospel, and to convince the Irish that true salvation could only be found through the embrace of Jesus Christ.
Patrick was renowned for his good works, such as the setup of schools, churches and monasteries. For three decades, Patrick was dedicated to the service of God and the Irish people. His zeal was the stuff of legend. When he died, it was on March 17th (AD 461). This day became his Saint’s Day, and he became known forevermore as Saint Patrick.
The Shamrock And Saint Patrick
The story of the shamrock and Saint Patrick is a touching tale of faith. In order to show the Irish that God was present in every part of the natural world, he used the three leaves of the shamrock to illustrate the Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit. For this reason, the shamrock remains a potent symbol of belief.
On Saint Patrick’s Day, shamrocks can be found…everywhere. The legacy of Saint Patrick is alive and well. The Irish, and those of Irish ancestry, still embrace the power of the trefoil plant, and the meaning it holds.
Gifts Ideas For Saint Patrick’s Day
Now that you’ve learned a little more about the history and meaning of Saint Patrick’s Day, you may wish to honor the occasion with special gifts for your loved ones. There are many creative ways to bring the timeless spirit of this sacred day to life. Here are some fun and meaningful ideas that you can try this March 17th:
Irish Candles – This is an inexpensive, handmade way to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day. This project can be fun for children and adults alike. You can give plain white taper candles or thick round candles a custom feel by painting them with acrylics. First, wipe down the candle with rubbing alcohol, to help the paint adhere. Then, use tape to cover all areas that should remain unpainted. Use stencils to add charming shamrocks and other Irish designs to the candle itself. When it is dry, coat with a lacquer of candle varnish (available in craft stores). You can add a few lines of Irish verse of blessings to make a special gift for you loved ones.
Shamrock Pendants – A simple, beautiful Shamrock pendant will evoke the spiritual meaning of Saint Patrick’s Day. It will be treasured always, and worn often. These pendants are a wonderful way for a woman of Irish descent to show her heritage on Saint Patrick’s Day, and every other day. These pendants can feature a tiny row of inlaid diamonds, and they should be handcrafted in Ireland for true authenticity.
Shamrock Cookies – If you have children, you may want to schedule a fun crafts day, making candles and shamrock cookies. This is a way to carry on the traditions of Ireland for the next generation. Use a sugar cookies recipe, and frost the shamrock shapes (you can buy a cutter, or shape them yourself) in bright emerald green. These could be wrapped in cellophane and green and gold ribbons to make a lovely gift for family and friends.