“May the road rise up to meet you, may the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face; the rains fall soft upon your fields. And until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.” – Irish Blessing
This month, many people will don green clothing and celebrate St. Patrick’s Day — the Feast Day of Saint Patrick. Many North Americans can claim some Irish lineage, but what do we know of the man behind the holiday, and why he is celebrated around the globe on the anniversary of his death?
St. Patrick’s Day is a celebration of Irish culture and heritage, but Saint Patrick himself wasn’t Irish. He was born in Roman Britain and, when he was 16 years old, was captured by Irish raiders and taken to the island as a slave.
Patrick spent six years working as a shepherd. When he heard the voice of God telling him a ship would be waiting, Patrick fled Ireland and returned home, where he became a priest.
The main reason Saint Patrick is associated with Ireland is because, despite being held in the country against his will, he chose to return years later with the goal of bringing Christianity to the island.
In works of art, Saint Patrick is often depicted holding a shamrock. According to lore, he used a shamrock to teach the people of Ireland about the Holy Trinity, assigning one leaf for the Father, a second for the Son, and the third for the Holy Spirit.
We should admire this — the ability of Saint Patrick to see God in all things, even the smallest parts of the world around him, and his desire to share those gifts with others.
Challenge yourself to do the same. Whether it’s something as tiny as a shamrock, as glorious as a sunset over the prairies, or as inspiring as the first sign of green grass as we move into the warmer spring months, take the time to see His gifts that constantly surround us.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day from STAR Catholic Schools!
This column was submitted by STAR Catholic Schools. Donna Tugwood (firstname.lastname@example.org) is the local Trustee on the STAR Catholic Schools Division Board. STAR Catholic Schools has more than 4,400 students in 12 schools located in Beaumont, Drayton Valley, Leduc, Lacombe, Ponoka and Wetaskiwin.
-Submitted by STAR Catholic