Friday, March 17, 2017

Parallels of St. Patrick's Day

The simple wild three-leaf clover. Wearing green. Corn beef and cabbage. Beer and cheer. (I've never tasted beer - and don't intend to- but I love corn beef.) These are but a few symbols associated with the Irish tradition, St Patrick’s Day , celebrated today in honour of St. Patrick who died fifteen hundred and fifty-five years ago.  

Photo credit by Rattikankeawpun of Free Digital Photos
The boy Patrick (birth name Maewyn was a British lad who was kidnapped at age 16 and brought to to Ireland, where among other things, he tended sheep in the rugged, chilly mountainside.  Eventually he escaped to France where he converted to Christianity, returning to Ireland as a missionary to share the good news with the people who had enslaved him. Patrick used a simple object lesson to explain the Trinity to a people who found it difficult to conceive “three in one”. The common three-leaf shamrock attached a single stem clearly  illustrated the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. He attained the status of bishop while alive, and that of patron saint after his death. There is a lot more surrounding St. Patrick, myths and legends which may be challenged, an influence that is undisputed.

I couldn’t help but notice some parallels of St. Patrick’s and  what is found in the Bible. Like with David the shepherd boy who went on to be king and a man after God’s heart. The shamrock was as ordinary as the lily of the valley that Jesus referenced in being worry-free. The heart-shaped leaf that conveyed the Heart of the Father to the hearts of the people. Forgiveness and reconciliation to a people who could have seen as less than worthy. And how the celebrations extends beyond the Irish, embraced by the “gentiles” of anyone who wants to celebrate. Even if it’s just that one happens to like corn beef a lot.

(This blog was originally posted on March 17, 2016)

SUSAN HARRIS  is an author, speaker and teacher.


Carol Ford said...

Very interesting, Susan. Thanks for sharing this.

Peter Black said...

I've liked Patrick's story for some years now and I respect his significance to Christianity, especially in Ireland. However, I didn't know about his sojourn in France, so that is another element in his story and legacy. Thank you, Susan, for sharing it.~~+~~

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