Preparations for St. Patrick’s Day are everywhere afoot. Shamrocks. Leprechauns. Parades. Entire communities, even cities turn green for the day!
Catholics, Anglicans, Eastern Orthodox and Lutherans celebrate the patron saint of Ireland. Patrick is memorialized as the Catholic missionary who transformed the pagan Ireland into a Christian nation. And allegedly drove out all the snakes!
St. Patrick had nothing to do with these miniature mythical creatures. In fact, according to folklore, leprechauns didn’t even live in Ireland. They were mischievous imps of an underwater kingdom in the Mid-Atlantic Ocean.
It is said that Patrick used the 3-leaf clover to illustrate the Trinity—Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This is possible, but Patiricus, as Patrick called himself in his writings, used a far more powerful demonstration to convince the Druid worshipping Irish pagans of the One True God.
One document of his time states,
“For the blind and the lame, the deaf and the dumb, the palsied, the lunatic, the leprous, the epileptic, all who labored under any disease, did he in the Name of the Holy Trinity restore unto the power of their limbs and unto entire health; and in these good deeds was he daily practiced. Thirty and three dead men, some of whom had been many years buried, did this great reviver raise from the dead, as above we have more fully recorded.”
None of the documents written around the time Patrick came to evangelize Ireland make any mention of the Roman Church. Efforts by delegates (including Augustine) sent by the Pope to establish Catholic jurisdiction over the Celtic Church proved futile.
Significant differences distinguished the Celtic from the Catholic Church. Most prominent was their rejection of Easter. The Celtic Church commemorated Passover.
Patrick and the Celtic Church leaders refused to compromise. Not until 200 years later did the Catholic Church gain a foothold in Ireland.
The monasteries supposedly established by Patrick were actually training centers. They were Bible schools which eventually became influential universities to train Christian leaders.
With their thorough knowledge of Bible principles, these leaders rebuilt a people and a nation. From poverty and fearful religious bondage to Druid occult practices to prosperity and freedom in Christ, the effect of the dynamic Christian faith of the Celtic church spread from Ireland to Scotland (where Patrick was actually born), Wales and England.
Apostle to Ireland?
In his Declarations he writes,
“My name is Patrick. I am a sinner, a simple country person, and the least of all believers. I am looked down upon by many.”
God chose this humble man to be His “apostle to Ireland”. Patrick embraced the call and for some 30 years he challenged the Druid forces of darkness to establish Christ’s Kingdom of Light in Ireland.
Sadly, few people today know about the real St. Patrick.
(1) An English translation of St. Patrick’s Declarations <http://www.confessio.ie/etexts/confessio_english#>
(2) A much more extensive picture of the real St. Patrick by Dr. Robert Heidler <https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=2&v=MVaAmTlA55g>
(3) A Catholic version of St. Patrick’s miracles <https://www.olrl.org/lives/patrick.shtml>
(4) The Celtic Church <http://www.truthontheweb.org/patrick.htm>
p.s. The snakes?
Apparently there never were snakes in Ireland.
Does this give you a more accurate picture and appreciation of St. Patrick and the Celtic church?