Did you or your children ever wonder why we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? I’m not sure what lies behind some of the traditions associated with the day, but the man that the holiday is named for has a story children need to hear.
Did you know Patrick isn’t Irish? He was born into a wealthy English family about 385 A.D. He died on March 17, 461. When he was 16 years old, he was kidnapped by Irish pirates and taken to Ireland as a slave where he worked as a shepherd. During this time he was lonely and afraid; this caused him to turn to God with his whole heart. After about 6 years as a slave, Patrick escaped and began studying to be a priest.
However, he did not forget Ireland; he had a desire to go back one day and tell them about Jesus. He did eventually return there as a missionary. Isn’t that amazing that he would want to go back to the place where he had been enslaved and tell them of God’s love? What an act of forgiveness! Eventually Patrick was called a saint by the Catholic Church because of his love and kindness to the people of Ireland.
It is believed that Patrick brought the shamrock plant to Ireland and used the three-leafed plant to illustrate the message of the Trinity. This would be a good time to teach about the Trinity. Click here for help in sharing the concept with your children. A good children’s book to illustrate the Trinity is 3 in 1: A Picture of God.
Go outside and look for clover and talk about the Trinity; be like St. Patrick teaching the Irish.
Click here for a shamrock craft.