March 17, 2017

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Do you know who St. Patrick was or why we have a day to celebrate in his honor? St. Patrick is credited as being the first bishop of Ireland in the fifth century and the founder of Christianity in Ireland. Legend says that when he was 16 years old, Patrick was kidnapped by Irish pirates and taken as a slave to Ireland. At the time, everyone there was pagan and worshipped lots of gods. During his six years of slavery, Patrick spent a lot of time in prayer and would convert to Christianity. Eventually, after six years, Patrick escaped slavery and made it back home to Britain.

Patrick began to study and would go on to become a priest. He received a vision and would follow that vision to go back to Ireland to take the gospel to the pagans there. Legend says that Patrick was able to explain Christianity to them using symbols the Irish already understood, like the shamrock. He was able to explain the concept of the Trinity using the three leaves of the shamrock.

I’ve always found it inspiring how Patrick was able to speak to the people using their own language, culture, and symbols to teach them beautiful truths. I think sometimes as Christians we have a bad habit of using language and customs that are hard for those outside the faith to understand. Today, we can focus on being more like Patrick and finding new ways to communicate that same gospel message in more effective ways. Are you wearing green today to remember St. Patrick?