The Unreal Saint Patrick
- Patrick was Irish – not true
- His name was Patrick – not true
- Over the years the color green and its association with Saint Patrick’s day grew. Green ribbons and shamrocks were worn in celebration of St Patrick’s Day
- March 17th is said to be Patrick’s birthday, but guess what? This was actually the day he died.
- If you don’t wear green on St. Patrick’s day, you should be pinched. The custom was started supposedly by leprechauns, who have a reputation for being cranky. If leprechauns are supposed to be lucky, then why are they so cranky? My childhood friend used to pinch me when I didn’t wear green. Why would I want anything to do with this holiday if you did ugly things like that?
- There was a legend that St. Patrick banished snakes from Ireland, driving them into the sea after they annoyed him during a 40-day fast. But guess what? There are no snakes in Ireland.
The Real Saint Patrick
- Patrick wasn’t Irish. He was born in mainland Britain and his real name wasn’t Patrick. It was Maewyn Succat. The name Patrick was given to him later in his life, and we still know him by that name today.
- At the age of sixteen, Patrick was kidnapped into slavery to serve as a herdsman in Ireland for six years; this is where he turned in faith to the LORD Jesus Christ.
- The Shamrock is an Irish tradion, a symbol of rebirth, like spring time and also a symbol for Irish nationalism. It is possible that St. Patrick used the Shamrock, the three leaf clover, to explain the Trinity, when giving the gospel to the Irish.
- The original color associated with St Patrick is called St. Patrick blue. It is a sky blue color. Green became associated with the holiday at a later date.
- While enslaved, something special happened to Patrick. He said, “It was there that the Lord opened the understanding of my unbelieving heart, so that I should recall my sins, and turn with all my heart to the Lord, my God.” He realized that he was not just a slave to the Irish, but also a slave to sin.
- Patrick said that during his six years of slavery he was constantly hungry and without clothing. When Patrick lived at home, he was brought up by a Christian father and grand father. So in those tough times, he remembered the words of his preacher father: “God is able to deliver you.”
- After 6 years of slavery, He gave his life to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and Master of All. Patrick’s life changed, and his captors began referring to him as “that holy youth.”
- Eventually, Patrick escaped back to England. After 20 years at home, he believed God wanted him to go back to Ireland. He returned and told the wicked rulers/slave masters about Jesus Christ. Over the next 30 years, he criss-crossed Ireland. Every day he spent in Ireland, he was in great danger, but he lived out the Bible verse, “to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21), He had a desire to whole-heartedly follow Jesus Christ, and he knew that he would one day go to heaven.
- Because of his dedication to God, 120,000 people decided to follow Jesus, and 300 churches were built. Patrick’s whole life was devoted to telling others how they could repent (turn from sin) and find forgiveness and eternal life in Jesus
- As for the shamrock, people use it today as a good luck charm, but it is said that Patrick used it to help teach the trinity. Each leaf stood for one of the persons of God, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. 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. One leaf, One God who is one person, yet He is three persons in one -the Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit. God, the Father, sent His only Son Jesus to die for us. When we place our trust in Him as Savior, the Holy Spirit then comes to live in our hearts to teach us all things that God wants us to know from His Word.
- Why did Patrick do this? Why did he go back to those wicked people who had made him a slave? And how did he know that “to live is Christ, and to die is gain”? Long before he returned to England, he had remembered the words of his father, and knew that God was able to deliver him not only from slavery but also from his sin. He now knew how much God loved Him and how he had been saved from sin and he wanted to share it with others so they too could know that God could deliver them from sin.
- Just like Saint Patrick became a Christian and received new life in Christ, and then escaped from slavery in Ireland, so can you receive new life from Jesus and be freed from the bondage of sin. Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31) — As Saint Patrick was!
My Sunday School Lesson includes Story with pictures, Craft, and other activities. Would you like the package for you own? I have added a free download for sign up at the end of this post.
Here are some of the ideas included in it:
- rainbows, gold, luck, leprechauns and Irish
- the color green
Secondly, I taught them who St. Patrick really was. These are the Truths about Saint Patrick – things that really happened.
Thirdly, I taught them about St. Patrick’s conversion. While a slave he gave his heart to the Lord Jesus and began witnessing for Him.
And fourthly, I applied this lesson to all of us for we too need to be converted; Just like Patrick we can be freed from the bondage of our sin and share the good news with others.
There is also a craft and other activities.
Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! Please take time to teach your children who Saint Patrick really was.