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What is St. Patrick’s Day About?

St. Patricks’ Day is not about green beer or little leprechauns, rainbows and pots of gold.  St. Patrick’s Day is the day that Saint Patrick died in the year 461.

shamrock

Three persons, one God (Trinity)

 

St. Patrick’s feast day is March 17th.  He is the patron saint of Ireland and Engineers.  He is also is known for teaching about the Trinity using a three-leaf shamrock (three leaves but one stem=three persons but one God).  He was born in the year 387 and died in 461.  St. Patrick was kidnapped at the age of 16 by Irish raiders and sold as a slave in Ireland and forced to work as a shepherd.  He suffered hunger and cold.  He escaped at the age of 22 to France and became a bishop at the age of 43.  He had a vision of Ireland’s children reaching out to him, even “from their mother’s wombs”.  He returned to Ireland to preach in a pagan country.  He baptized hundreds of people in a single day.  He obtained many converts, founded diocese and monasteries, and ordained many priests. He is buried in Northern Ireland.  He is usually pictured with snakes at his feet, the staff of Jesus in his left hand or holding a book, holding a three-leaf shamrock in his right hand and dressed in green and gold bishop vestments.

Did Saint Patrick banish all snakes from Ireland?  According to Wikipedia, “Patrick banishes all snakes from Ireland. The absence of snakes in Ireland gave rise to the legend that they had all been banished by St. Patrick chasing them into the sea after they attacked him during a 40-day fast he was undertaking on top of a hill.”

He wrote a book called Confessio consisting of personal writings.  This is where we get much of our information about him.

While you can have green beer, remember the true meaning of the feast day.

There is a very short chaplet prayer (rosary) to St. Patrick to ask for an increase in faith.  Directions are at this link,  St. Patrick Chaplet directions.

Photo credit: clipartkid.com

 

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