St Patrick was born into a wealthy Romano-British family in the fifth century. Apparently he was kidnapped by Irish raiders and taken to Ireland to become a slave. He managed to escape, but, rather than hating or fearing the Irish, God called him to become a priest to convert them instead. He spread the word of God in Ireland for almost thirty years and is held in such high esteem that he is now the most commonly recognised of the patron saints of Ireland.
The tradition of wearing green on the day started by wearing a shamrock on clothing, since it was believed that St Patrick used a shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity. And so the celebrations began as a reminder of God’s work, God’s love and God’s grace. And it reminds me that through God’s guidance and God’s power, one person can make a difference to countless lives.
Below is a traditional Irish Blessing; origin unknown, although some attribute it to St. Patrick.
May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
May the rains fall soft upon your fields,
And, until we meet again,
May God hold you in the hollow of His hand.