St. Patrick used the Clover to teach about the Trinity
Every year on March 17, the Irish and the Irish-at-heart across the globe observe St. Patrick’s Day. The question is, why is this a holiday to go to the local pub and engage in a drinking contest? While some choose to celebrate in this fashion, that is not how St. Patrick’s Day began.
Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, was not actually Irish. He was born around 375 AD in England. His parents were Romans who lived in Britain and were in charge of the colonies. His real name was Maewyn Succat taking on the name Patrick upon becoming a priest.
As a teen, St. Patrick was kidnaped by pirates and sold into slavery in Ireland to herd and tend sheep on Slemish mountain. During his six-year captivity, two life-changing things happened. He became fluent in the Irish language, a divinely appointed skill he would need. Most importantly, he turned his life over to God. Miraculously, he escaped after having a dream sent from God in which he was told to leave Ireland by going to the coast where he would find a ship waiting to sail to Britain.
St. Patrick had a gloriously reunion with his parents in Wales before traveling to France where he began studying the Bible and went on to become a priest and later a bishop. Patrick was sent another dream in which the people of Ireland were calling out to him to come and walk among them once more — but this time not calling him to be a slave, but to proclaim the Gospel! St. Patrick called himself a “humble servant,” and set out to preach the Gospel to all of Ireland. For over 40 years, he traveled throughout the country converting literally thousands to Christianity. He continually gave thanks to his Maker for having chosen him as the instrument whereby multitudes who had worshiped idols and unclean things had become the people of God.
One of Patrick’s witnessing tools was the ever present clover that filled the hillsides of Ireland. He cleverly used God’s green shamrocks to explain the Trinity! The beloved preacher died on March 17, 460 at Saul, Downpatrick. Hence, that is why Saint Patrick’s day is celebrated on that day.
What about the parades? Contrary to popular belief, the parade tradition did not originate in Ireland. The first St. Patrick’s Day celebration in America was in 1737 hosted by the Charitable Irish Society of Boston. Today, festive parades are held all over the world, although most are for no purpose other than raising a glass to an Irish saint they don’t know. Interestingly enough, up until the 1970′s, all pubs were closed on this day in honor of Saint Patrick.
I am grateful to God for the humble preacher that literally gave his life for the sake of the Gospel in Ireland. This St. Patrick’s Day, let’s be reminded to pray for missionaries around the world, and use Patrick’s witnessing tool of the green shamrock to tell someone about Jesus!
Irish you would go tell someone the truth of the Gospel today!
Thanks for reading and thanks for praying.