Who was St. Patrick?:
St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, is one of Christianity’s most widely known figures. Although he is very famous, his life is somewhat of a mystery. It is known that St. Patrick was born in Britain to wealthy parents near the end of the fourth century. He is believed to have died on March 17th. Hence, “Saint Patrick’s Day.” He was taken prisoner by a group of Irish raiders who were attaching his family’s estate. They transported him to Ireland where he spent six years in captivity. Saint Patrick’s day is celebrated on March 17th, his religious feast day and the anniversary of his death. The Irish have celebrated this holiday for thousands of years.
The Legend of the Shamrock:
Long ago, when Ireland was the land of Druids, there was a great Bishop, Patrick by name, who came to teach the word of God throughout the country. Long ago, when Ireland was the land of Druids, there was a great Bishop, Patrick by name, who came to teach the word of God throughout the country. This St. Patrick—for he was indeed a saint—was well loved everywhere he went. One day, however, a group of his followers came to him and admitted that it was difficult for them to believe in the doctrine of the Holy Trinity. St. Patrick reflected a moment and then, stooping down, he plucked a leaf from the shamrock and held it before them, bidding them to behold the living example of the “Three-in-One.” St. Patrick used the shamrock to explain the concept of the Holy Trinity of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The simple beauty of this explanation convinced these skeptics, and from that day the shamrock has been revered throughout Ireland. A four-leaf clover has always been considered a symbol of good luck in Irish culture. According to legend, the leaves of a four-leaf clover represent hope, faith, and love, and God added another leaf for luck.
The Irish flag explained:
The orange on the flag stands for Irish Protestants, green is signifying Irish Catholics and the Republican cause, and the white represents the hope for peace between them.
The original Irish name for these figures of folklore is “lobaircin,” meaning “small-bodied fellow.” Belief in leprechauns probably stems from Celtic belief in fairies, tiny men and women who could use their magical powers to serve good or evil. In Celtic folktales, leprechauns were cranky souls, responsible for mending the shoes of the other fairies. Though only minor figures in Celtic folklore, leprechauns were known for their trickery, which they often used to protect their much-fabled treasure.