A few years back I happened to be making a school visit on St. Patrick’s Day, and was delighted to see all the children dressed up in my favorite color – GREEN.
But I was somewhat dismayed when I asked them “Who can tell me who St. Patrick was?” One little fellow boldly proclaimed, “I think he was a LEPRECHAUN.”
Ah well, no doubt St. Patrick, having lived with the Irish for most of his life, has enough of a sense of humor to be laughing at that line from his heavenly home!
So, why do I love St. Patrick?
Let me count the ways….
1. He was born in Scotland -as I was.
2. He converted the Celtic people to Christianity but never shunned their love of nature and fairies. (Indeed, it was easy for the Irish to embrace Christianity, because they already believed in other worlds, like the fairy kingdom, and were quite comfortable with the idea that, often what we cannot see is more real than what we can.)
3. He gave us the first Celtic cross – the ancient Celts already believed in the sacredness of the circle – stories were told in a circle, the sun and moon were circles, and so when Patrick converted them to Christianity, he simply placed the cross
4. He knew what it was like to be homesick for your native land (as I am, sometimes.) As a young boy, Patrick was captured from his native Scotland, and taken to Ireland as a slave, and for many years, he pined for his own country and his own people.
5. He was a lover of nature and had a tremendous reverence for the earth and all God’s creatures…as all the Irish do.
6. And…he was a….STORYTELLER!
One of my favorite children’s books about St. Patrick and this month’s read aloud on my storytelling site –