Thursday, March 17, 2011

Today is St. Patrick's Day. Our family will be wearing green, baking shamrock cookies, reading St. Patrick's Day by Gail Gibbons and making a traditional Irish stew for dinner. It's funny, since we've become a homeschooling family, I have had to learn so much as a parent in teaching my children. Luckily, I am able to choose the books we read and concentrate on the true meaning of holidays. For instance, growing up, I was never taught the true story of what St. Patrick's Day REALLY means. It's funny to think about the thousands of people dressing in green today, going to bars to drink, wearing fun flashing buttons that say "Kiss Me, I'm Irish" and playing along with the rainbows and leprechauns. While some of this is innocent fun, we musn't forget the story of how St. Patrick's Day came to be. I'll share a summed up version today. Enjoy!
A baby most likely named "Maewyn" was born into a British, Christian family around the year 380. He was kidnapped as a young boy and taken to Ireland where he tended sheep and was made a slave. He prayed to God for help and six years later he escaped and returned back to England. His goal was to return to Ireland to teach the Irish people about God. He went to France, studied religion and in the 432 the Pope named him Patricius (Patrick). He was a priest and then became a bishop. He then sailed back to Ireland to teach about Christ. He built many churches all over the country and his followers loved him. He devoted his entire life to teaching the people of Ireland about the Lord. On March 17, the year 461 Patrick died and the Catholic Church made him a saint, calling him Saint Patrick. This is the day we celebrate St. Patrick's Day today.

One other fun fact is that Patrick used the shamrock to teach others about the Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. There is one stem and from the stem, each of the 3 leaves are part of the whole, such as in the Trinity.

The past few weeks, our church has been focusing on global missions and what a great two weeks it has been. We've always prayed for our missionaries as we keep their pictures on a cork board by our dining room table. However, we were blessed to get to know some new missionaries, first time missionaries and some who have been around for a long time, but we've never been given the opportunity to hear them speak of their journeys and testimonies. What a blessing to hear some families share with us their fears about being first time missionaries to Rwanda as well as hear from a family (4 generations and going) who minister in other parts of Africa. We will continue to pray for them as they reach others for Christ.

I think it's neat how St. Patrick's Day is like celebrating a missionary holiday. Patrick was a missionary to Ireland and devoted his whole life to reaching the Irish people for the Lord.

What an amazing story! Be sure to share it with someone today.

1 comment:

Taryn said...

Did you see Candy at is back? Christian Liberty Press has a biography of St. Patrick, Abeka's 11/12 grades Church History book has info on Patrick and Landmark Freedom's 10th grade Church History book also has the true story(he was not Catholic).