Our celebration of the feast of St. Patrick may include wearing the only green t-shirts we own, a sip of beer (the ones at the back of the fridge since Super Bowl), corned beef sandwiches (or corned beef hash), a lesson on Ireland and a wish for good luck… but we mostly focus on St. Patrick’s beautiful life.
The obvious symbol of this feast day is the Shamrock. While a four leaf clover may be a rare find, the story of the three leaf clover is about a mystifying truth. St. Patrick used it to create a visual of the Blessed Trinity – the three Persons in one God – God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. I’ve never considered a clover a lucky thing to behold, but I am lucky to behold the knowledge of The Blessed Trinity!
Legend has it that St. Patrick was responsible for ridding the Emerald Isle of snakes; but more importantly, it is said that Patrick used the shamrock as a symbol to explain the Trinity to Unbelievers, i.e., how God is One God in Three Persons. "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost" (Matthew 28:19). Patrick would hold up a shamrock and challenge his hearers, "Is it one leaf or three?" "It is both one leaf and three," was their reply. "And so it is with God," he would conclude. "19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. 20 For the invisible things of Him from The Creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His Eternal Power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse" (Romans 1:19-20). Of course, doctrines such as the Trinity or the Divinity of Jesus Christ can only be received by willing hearts, who have committed themselves to obey whatever the Spirit reveals from the Scriptures. "If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine" (John 7:17). St. Patrick, no doubt, was careful not to confuse pagan idolaters with the idea of Polytheism, i.e., the false notion that there are many separate gods; but, his dependence upon the Holy Spirit to give him the illustration of the shamrock to illustrate the Trinity, gave him success in preaching the Gospel. "For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ: for it is the Power of God unto Salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek" (Romans 1:16). Thank God for the testimony of Patrick of Ireland!
Go to this Toy Maker’s website for delightful paper crafts including these:
A plethora of Irish Catholic ideas for families can be found at Catholic Icing.
Don’t forget – Saint Brigid – is the female patron saint of Ireland!!!!
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