Beyond the Green: Celebrating the Legacy of St. Patrick


How do you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? Most likely you go to a parade, wear green, pinch some people, watch the Chicago River turn green, or get a green drink. It’s a fun holiday in America, but do you even know what you are celebrating? Well, of course, we are celebrating St. Patrick, but who was St. Patrick?

It is speculated that Patrick was born around 385. He actually wasn’t Irish at all; he was a Roman citizen born to a wealthy family living in Britain. When he was 16 years old, he was kidnapped and sold into slavery in Ireland. He was not a practicing Christ-follower when he went to Ireland, though his father was a deacon and grandfather a priest. However, he said he heard the voice of God while there. After 6 years, Patrick escaped slavery and went back to his life in Britain, but he later felt called to go back to Ireland to share the gospel with the people who once enslaved him.

Ireland was by no means a Christian nation. In fact, Patrick and his followers faced abuse, murder, and enslavement. However, he was faithful to his call. There were many things that made Patrick’s ministry one that thrived.

Here are three things we can learn from St. Patrick’s evangelism to the Irish people:

  1. Although Patrick was not the first Christian to go to Ireland, he went with the ultimate goal to preach the gospel. Others thought they needed to “civilize” the Irish before presenting them with the gospel; Patrick let the gospel change the Irish people.

  2. Patrick did not do his work alone. Although they do not have records of all the names of Patrick’s teammates, we know he had them. They would minister together to a tribe for weeks or few months, then would leave behind a team member or two to help build a foundation for a church in that tribe.

  3. He went to the people. Patrick did not wait for the people to come to him and ask about Jesus. He was known for spending a lot of time with people that others would deem “unworthy” of the gospel.

After learning about St. Patrick and his passion for the gospel and people without Christ, maybe you will choose a different way to celebrate the holiday and honor his legacy.

Have any great tips on how you share the gospel in your daily life? Share them in the comments!

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Meet the author!

Becca Walker is a 2nd grade teacher in Edmond, Oklahoma. Her passion for kids mainly comes from the fact that she herself is still just a kid at heart. She and her husband, Brennan, love to serve in the church in many ways. Whether it is children’s ministry, youth, worship, or leading a young adult small group, they love it all! Becca’s main loves are her family, her pups Wrigley and Rizzo, her Savior, Old Navy, and of course, the incredible community at Council Road Baptist Church.