TRUE OR FALSE?
1. Patrick was Irish.
2. He lived for a time in France.
3. He was well-educated.
4. He used a shamrock to explain the Trinity.
5. He drove the snakes from Ireland.
You may be surprised to learn that only number two is true! St. Patrick was a Roman of British origin, probably born near present-day Scotland. Because he was captured and sold into slavery when he was 16, he was not particularly well-educated. After six years, he escaped and ended up on a ship bound for France where he trained for the priesthood at a monastery. While he may have used the shamrock to explain the Trinity, there is no mention of it in any of his writings or any of the early stories of his life. Despite the fiction that has arisen about him, St. Patrick was an ardent and tireless missionary who endured much hardship, including beatings and imprisonment, to bring the Christian faith to the Celtic people. He has been honored as patron of Ireland since the seventh century
IN HIS MEMORY:
• Wear green on March 17.
• Serve green water (or beer for grown-ups).
• Have corned beef and cabbage for dinner.
Make a shamrock centerpiece
This year, add some St. Patrick’s Day flair to your kitchen table with this easy kid-friendly craft. Cut out shamrocks from green-patterned paper and glue them onto Popsicle sticks or dowels. Cover a mason jar with green construction paper and you have an instant shamrock centerpiece! The shamrock is an important symbol of the Holy Trinity. St. Patrick used it to teach people in Ireland about the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Make the Sign of the Cross with the kids before you start and when you’re finished with this craft to celebrate St. Patrick’s deep faith and powerful yet simple teaching.