Saturday, February 7, 2009

Saint Patrick's Day!

"As an old man, Patrick looked back in awe.

'Those who never had a knowledge of God but worshiped idols and things impure, have now become a people of the Lord, sons of God.'

By the time of his death he had baptized tens of thousands and established hundreds of churches throughout Ireland. Within a century this once pagan land became predominately Christian, possessing such a vigorous faith that Ireland in turn sent out missionaries to Scotland, England, France, Germany, and Belgium." 1

Sound too good to skip? I think so too!  

We haven't always set aside Saint Patrick's Day.  When the girls were younger I remember ordering a book about Saint Patrick and finding the contents very mature, I tucked it away for some future date.  And to be honest, that date has yet to come.

Last year as I was searching for some items on the significance of the day, I stumbled upon some real gold.    

The story of a servant of Christ whose own trial of being sold into slavery fashioned him into the very person God used to bring repentance to tens of thousands of lost souls.  That's a Romans 8:28 story that is just to wonderful to pass by, don't you agree?

While Saint Patrick's Day is a whole month away (on March 17th) I thought these on-line resources might be helpful if you are planning to acknowledge the date.  


Here are a few resources we plan to use this year:

1. A quick summary about Patrick the Church Planter
"Patrick was born on the west coast of Britain about 360 A.D. At the age of 16 he was kidnapped by Irish pirates and sold as a slave into the service of a local king. On a rainy hillside tending sheep, he met the Lord and his faith was nurtured over the next several months. He escaped, but God called him to return to the emerald isle as a missionary..."

2. Why do shamrocks symbolize Saint Patrick's Day?
"According to legend, Saint Patrick used a shamrock to explain about God. The shamrock, which looks like clover, has three leaves on each stem. Saint Patrick told the people that the shamrock was like the idea of the Trinity – that in the one God there are three divine beings: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. The shamrock was sacred to the Druids, so Saint Patrick’s use of it in explaining the trinity was very wise..."

3. Quotes from Saint Patrick's own Confession
"And there the Lord opened my mind to an awareness of my unbelief, in order that, even so late, I might remember my transgressions and turn with all my heart to the Lord my God, who had regard for my insignificance and pitied my youth and ignorance. And he watched over me before I knew him, and before I learned sense or even distinguished between good and evil, and he protected me, and consoled me as a father would his son..."

4. Irish Celtic Hymns and Prayers

"Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art
Thou my best Thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light...

Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise,
Thou mine Inheritance, now and always:
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,
High King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art."

5. The long version~ for Mama to read to herself and pull quotes from. This is a bit different than the version I used {and loved} last year, but remains a helpful resource. What is different? This version doesn't seem to make a strong connection between Patrick's time in slavery and his success in evangelism. Other evangelists had gone before Patrick and failed miserably, but because Patrick understood the hierarchy of the Irish system he was able to lead the heads of the areas to faith and then the subjects gladly followed. His first conversion? His own slave master whom he returned to witness to.

We usually slip holiday teaching into our morning time.  We keep it simple; selecting various quotes to read aloud while the children color pictures (in this case free printable coloring pages: Ireland, their flag and shamrocks).

For the older children this map of Ireland in relation to Europe and various Ireland facts may also be helpful.

This year I would also like to sing some of the Celtic Prayers that have been translated into English and made into hymns, such as Be Thou My Vision, so we can join our voices with the saints that have gone before us.

Sometimes we're up for more than just coloring during read aloud. I've been thinking of a few things we might also incorporate this year:

  • Simple Craft: I am thinking of using a shamrock template to cut out green shamrocks. On some we can pen things we are thankful to God for and others little ones can just decorate with elbow noodles or pieces of tissue paper. I may string them together as a garland for decor that is corralled into one area to hang over a window or on a wall hung like a banner for dinner time.
  • Green Attire: It would be fun to wear green~ a common practice for the Irish to remember their green homeland left behind. And fun for those who are Saint Patrick fans as well!

  • Holiday Menu: I am also toying with the idea of altering our dinner menu for the day as well.  There are a variety of websites with wonderful ideas for a special foods, but I especially like this one by Kraft Canada.  Aren't their ideas simple and festive?

I am so ambitious when holidays are still a month away, am I not?  : )

Whatever you do, may you enjoy a memorable and rich Saint Patrick's Day in Jesus!

Blessings as you lead little hearts home!


About the Photo: Our little Hailey at 10 months inviting us to give her a kiss as she's celebrating her favorite Irish if we need an invitation to cover those little Irish cheeks with kisses. : )

1 Dr. Ralph F. Wilson "Will the Real St. Patrick Please Stand Up," Joyful Heart Renewal Ministries


  1. You always have such great ideas Rebecca! I love it:-)

    I think I will use some of these resources for us this year.

    Lots of love,

  2. Can I request valentines day ideas
    next? Please? My creative juices are tapped.

    Thank you so so much for these ideas. You've done a bunch of work for me!

    Your the best!

  3. We celebrate St. Patricks Day heartily at our house, and we aren't even Irish! I loved the photo of your baby, so sweet! Thanks for all the links, and in plenty of time to research and prepare!

  4. Thank you for your sweet comments ladies.

    Valentine's Day~ that one is coming fast, isn't it? Hmmm...

    Love to you!

  5. P.S. Hailey's t-shirt and headband are both from the Target dollar area. : )