published Saturday, March 15th, 2014

Mohney: Green honors real St. Patrick

By Nell Mohney

Celebrating the beautiful and lush greenery of Ireland, people from countries around the world will wear a bit of green on Monday in a salute to Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. Born into an aristocratic Christian family from Britain, h had not discovered his faith when he was a teenager.

Patrick was 16 when he was kidnapped and captured by pirates who took him to Ireland. While there, he was converted to Christianity by a small group of deeply faithful. Eventually, he escaped from his captors and returned to Britain. But soon he began to feel a call to return as a missionary to the island he had come to love. In each of his biographies that I read, he is credited with converting the entire island to Christianity.

Some biographers suggested that his most important tool was Ireland’s national symbol, the shamrock. He suggested that the three leaves of the shamrock represented Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Before his death on March 17, 461 AD, he was named patron saint of Ireland. In his biographies, I was moved by the fact that St. Patrick was especially loved by children and youth, who often brought their families back to church. His loving, enthusiastic spirit was highlighted in each of his biographies.

On Monday, I, as a Protestant, will join with Christians around the world in wearing green to salute a good and noble man whose life and teachings changed the course of a nation. I will also add a sincere prayer that, as Christians, we may ever take faith for granted.

Contact Nell Mohney at nellwmohney@comcast.net.

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