Who Was St. Patrick? Why is Shamrock Important to Irish?
Who was St. Patrick?
He’s our patron saint
Which is really quite quaint
He brought Ireland the faith
He made us holy and great
But Irish? St Patrick? He ain’t!
St. Patrick’s first visit to Ireland did not exactly evoke images of “Ireland of the Welcomes.” Captured by marauding Irish warriors, the Welsh or Scottish born 16 year old spent about 6 years in Ireland as a slave. After his escape, precipitated by a voice from God telling him to leave, he became a priest.
Patrick then returned to Ireland bringing the Catholic faith. Legend has it he drove the snakes out of Ireland. Well, the ones that crawl anyway.
St. Patrick and the Shamrock
Another legend has it that St. Patrick used the shamrock to illustrate the mystery of the Holy Trinity and how three could be one. To the native born Irish, the shamrock is a three leafed item. Technically it is a clover, but in our thinking a four leaf clover is NOT a shamrock and it drives us nuts when the two are mixed up.
Today the shamrock is probably the fastest way for the stranger to appreciate an Irish association. You will find the shamrock adorning Aer Lingus planes, Glasgow Celtic jerseys and the windows of Irish pubs from Maine to Madrid.
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