St. Patrick’s Day is fast approaching. We celebrate the life of the saint as well as all things Irish on March 17th. St. Patrick holds a special place in my heart since I was born in Ireland. My ancestors also shared history with the saint. Because of the celebration on March 17th each year, many people know the name of St. Patrick. But who was he and what did he do?
According to the autobiographical Confessio of Patrick, when he was about 16, he was captured by Irish pirates from his home in Britain and taken as a slave to Ireland, looking after animals; he lived there for six years before escaping and returning to his family. After becoming a cleric, he returned to northern and western Ireland. In later life, he served as a bishop, but little is known about the places where he worked. By the seventh century, he had already come to be revered as the patron saint of Ireland. Many believe he died around the year 461 and that he is buried in a town named Downpatrick. A large granite stone marks his grave.
Let’s look at the three things I learned from St. Patrick.
Lessons from the Saint
First, I learned about his missionary heart. Even though he was kidnapped and forced into slavery in Ireland, Patrick learned to love the Irish people. After his freedom, Patrick returned home to England, but he heard the Irish people calling to him in his dreams. Those dreams prompted him to become a priest and return to Ireland. St. Patrick turned the tragic events of life into a ministry of serving others.
Second, I learned of his beautiful way of explaining the Holy Trinity in simple terms. Patrick used the shamrock to explain this concept to the pagans in Ireland. He explained that the three leaves of the plant represented the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. But even though the plant had three separate leaves, it remained a single plant. The shamrock later became the symbol for St. Patrick and for the Irish. To this day, many people still use this symbol to help others under the triune nature of God.
Finally, I learned how Patrick understood the importance of keeping Christ close to us at all times. His breastplate bore these words:
“Christ be within me, Christ behind me, Christ before me, Christ beside me, Christ to win me, Christ to comfort and restore me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ inquired, Christ in danger, Christ in hearts of all that love me, Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.”St. Patrick’s Breastplate
These simple words speak a profound truth to us today as well. We must remain closely connected to Christ and see Him in everyone and everything around us.
St. Patrick’s Example
Patrick was a humble, pious, gentle man, whose love and total devotion to and trust in God should be a shining example to each of us. So complete was his faith in God, and of the importance of his mission, he feared nothing -not even death. So as you celebrate this coming Tuesday, please take a moment to remember the saint behind the celebration and all he taught us about faith.
Yvonne M Morgan, #Blogger, #Speaker, #Writer
Matthew 28:19 “Therefore, GO and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.”
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22 thoughts on “3 Lessons from St. Patrick”
Awesome message Sister, you taught me quite a bit. Thanks and God Bless!!
Thanks Stephan and God bless
Very interesting. Thank you for sharing about St. Patrick.
Thanks Melissa. God bless
Such a great message!
I studied the life of St. Patrick a while back and I came to greatly admire this man. He had a LOT of faith and was used of God greatly.
He really was a great example. So many forget he is the reason behind the celebration. Thanks and God bless
I enjoyed your post. So informative and timely!
Thanks Ava and God bless
I’m so intrigued to know more about Patrick and his beautiful faith thanks to this, Yvonne. Thank you! Such a testimony.
Thanks Jessica 💕and God bless
What an amazing connection – Patrick was a missionary from your country, Ireland. And now you are a missionary, based out of your new homeland, the U.S. What an inspiring true life story!
Thanks Melissa. I can relate to St Paddy very much. God bless
Patrick’s story is always so inspiring. It never gets old. Because of him, the Irish were equipped with the gospel and within the next several decades spread it all across Europe at great cost to themselves. Many were martyred by local tribes of unreached European peoples. Think how different the world would be if Patrick hadn’t lived, experienced all of the suffering he did, and returned to witness about Christ to his tormentors, which led to the passionate Irish bringing the gospel where it was needed. We never know what one life will accomplish!
That is so very true Melinda. One life fully committed to following God can accomplish so much. Thanks and God bless.
Yvonne, I thought it interesting that he used the shamrock, something they were very familiar with, to teach them about the Trinity. Afterwards, every time they saw one they would be reminded of God and Patrick’s teaching. A great reminder as we witness for God to use things, stories, examples that each person can relate to.
Yes it is a great reminder and so very simple. Thanks and God bless
Wow, Yvonne. I was not aware of most of this history of St. Patrick. I particularly love how he was a missionary at heart and especially how he used the shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity. What a great example and something they could no doubt relate to.
Thanks Karen. He was a really inspirational person. God bless
I love the message of St. Patrick’s life. So much there to model for us. His life shows such love for people. Thanks and God bless!
He sets a wonderful example for us even today. Thanks Nancy and God bless.