Saint Patrick, 387–493
Saint Patrick was kidnapped by pirates when he was just a boy. They took him to Ireland to be a slave. After six years, Patrick escaped and went back to his family. Years later, he returned to Ireland as a priest. He showed people a shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity: one God in three Divine Persons.
Discuss: How is the Sign of the Cross also the sign of the Holy Trinity?
Long ago, pirates in England kidnapped a boy named Patrick. They took him to Ireland to be a slave. After six years, Patrick escaped. He went back to his family. Years later, he returned to Ireland as a priest. He wanted people to understand the Holy Trinity so he showed them a shamrock. Like a clover, a shamrock is made up of three leaves on one plant. When people saw the shamrock, they better understood how the Holy Trinity is one God in three Divine Persons.
Patrick is the patron Saint of Ireland. Two of his letters still survive: his Declaration and the Letter to the soldiers of Coroticus. In his Confession, Patrick wrote about having a recurring dream in which the children of Ireland cried out to him, “Come and walk among us once more.” His missionary work around Ireland spanned almost thirty years, and he converted nearly all the Irish people to Christianity. His escape from slavery involved a two-hundred-mile journey to board a ship that was transporting Irish hounds out of the country.
Draw the Trinity
Explain to your child that Saint Patrick wanted to help people to understand the mystery of the Holy Trinity. He used a shamrock (or clover) to do so. Invite your daughter/son to illustrate the Holy Trinity with a design.