Ahh... St. Patrick’s Day... a day of celebrating the color green, shamrocks, and everything Irish. Each year it comes and goes with barely a hint of our notice except for the obligatory green garment we’re compelled to wear.
But, if you knew the true story behind St. Patrick, I think you’d find it pretty fascinating.
First of all, Patrick wasn’t even Irish. He was born in Britain in 390 AD to an aristocratic family and wasn’t a Christian growing up. At 16, however, all that changed.
Patrick was kidnapped and sent to Ireland to work as a slave. It was there, through hard work and trials, Patrick gave his heart to Christ and decided to live a life of deep devotion to God. Patrick eventually escaped on a pirate ship back to his family and was home again safe.
But, he heard the voice of God telling him to go back to Ireland. He again returned, became a priest and spent the rest of his life spreading the gospel message to the people. History has it he even preached to the Druids and turned them away from their pagan rites and rituals.
Did he really drive all the snakes out of Ireland?
Not to burst your bubble...but it’s just a myth. While it’s true there are no snakes in Ireland today, fact is... there never were. Surrounded by icy ocean waters, the country is too cold for them to migrate there.
More than likely, the snakes were mostly symbolic. Driving out snakes probably meant driving out the pagan, evil influences of the age in Ireland. Patrick was vital to the spread of Christianity and to a legacy of faith for the Irish people.
Other legends such as Patrick using three leafed shamrocks to explain the holy trinity are very interesting stories but have little factual basis. They’re myths also.
Nevertheless, the true story of St. Patrick, I believe, is a portrait of courage and steadfast devotion. St. Patrick was a brave man whose life of winning souls is a true testimony of what one man can accomplish with God’s help.
This holiday, be sure to think of the real man behind the myth and what he meant to the soul of Ireland. It’s not just about leprechauns and shamrocks.
Remember the true meaning of St. Patrick’s and don’t forget to have some good,
Irish Stew to celebrate.
Mmmm. Sooo Good.