Posts Tagged ‘Saint Patrick’

There are a lot of resources here for creating a St. Patrick’s Day themed class.

It isn’t a Christian site, and some of the definitions and importance of the day is not there, but if you are teaching on the day, this is a good first stop.


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Conversation Questions
Saint Patrick’s Day

A Part of Conversation Questions for the ESL Classroom.

  • When is St. Patrick’s Day?
  • What color do you wear on St. Patrick’s Day?
  • Do you wear a special color or special clothes at festivals in your country?
  • How do you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?
  • What drink is popular on St. Patrick’s Day?
  • What do you know about St. Patrick’s Day?
  • What stories are associated with this Day?
  • What countries celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?
  • If you had to go to a St. Patrick’s Day celebration what would you wear?
  • Have you ever been to an Saint Patrick’s Day parade?
  • Is there a Saint Patrick’s Day parade in your city or country?
  • What is the name of the delicious black Irish beer with a white creamy head?
  • What is an Irish coffee?
  • What do you know about Ireland?
  • What Irish songs do you know?
  • What Irish singers do you know? Are there any living in your country?
  • What are the colors of the Irish flag?
  • What musical instrument is on the Irish flag?
  • What is a shamrock?
  • What is a leprechaun?
  • What did Saint Patrick do in Ireland?
  • What symbol did Saint Patrick use to explain Christianity? Why?
  • When was Saint Patrick alive?
  • When did St. Patrick die?

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St. Patrick’s real life more fascinating than the myths
By Neil Schoenherr

St. Patrick’s Day has become an excuse for Americans of all ethnic backgrounds to break out the green and head to their local parade or pub and imbibe in Irish beer and corned beef and cabbage.

And just in time for this year’s celebration of St. Patrick’s feast day comes a book that will have many — even the true Irish — saying, "I didn’t know that" about Ireland’s beloved patron saint.

Many of the stories about St. Patrick that have been passed down for generations, including the one about him ridding Ireland of its snakes, are false, says an expert in Celtic and classical studies at Washington University in St. Louis in a book being released in early March.

But that’s not to say that St. Patrick didn’t live an intriguing life worthy of a daylong celebration — and in Ireland, a weeklong.

In Philip M. Freeman’s "St. Patrick of Ireland: A Biography," Patrick’s life is more akin to something out of a Hollywood action movie script — the reality of it is far more fascinating than the myth.

From being kidnapped by pirates from his home in Britain, to living as a slave for six years in Ireland, to escaping, but then returning to the country he was held hostage in to minister to the people there, the book tells the tale of a remarkable man.

Freeman, an assistant professor of classics in Arts & Sciences at Washington University, writes that St. Patrick was born around the year 390 to an aristocratic family. At age 15, he was kidnapped by Irish pirates from his parents’ villa in the Roman province of Britain and sold into slavery. During six years of slavery in Ireland, Patrick watched over sheep day and night.

During his years as a slave, Patrick, who was raised as a Roman citizen and a nominal Christian, destined for the privileged life of the nobility, experienced a gradual but profound religious awakening, says Freeman. He escaped from Ireland — after walking nearly 200 miles across its bogs and mountains to get to the coast — on a ship full of pagan sailors and eventually made his way back to his family in Britain.

"Almost more amazing than all of that, however, is that he returned to Ireland to spread the Christian gospel and minister to the people who once held him captive," says Freeman. And although he missed the final years of his general education while he was enslaved, Patrick was made a bishop and was able to convert many of the Irish people.

Revealing letters

In his book, Freeman closely examines two letters written by St. Patrick. The letters are the earliest surviving documents written by anyone in Ireland. The book contains Freeman’s translations of the letters from Latin.

"The letters reveal the heart and soul of a truly remarkable man," says Freeman, who is also author of "Ireland and the Classical World." "We know a lot about more famous people from Greek and Roman times, such as Caesar and Alexander The Great, but we don’t know a whole lot about how they felt. Patrick’s letters reveal that he had a lot of faith and a lot of gumption, but he had a lot of insecurities as well.

"He was terribly embarrassed that his Latin wasn’t very good," Freeman continues. "He was also given to fits of depression. The impression you get from letters is of a real person, not some plastic icon. The letters tell of hope in an uncertain time and are truly inspirational, even if you aren’t Christian. It’s really an amazing story."

St. Patrick is celebrated today as a man who helped to convert thousands of the Irish people to Christianity from paganism. "For that fact, he has a definite appeal to people of Irish decent around the world," Freeman says. "But St. Patrick’s Day has become more of a cultural than religious event, with people who are not Irish at all celebrating the day. Many of them probably don’t even know who the real St. Patrick was."

Several myths about Patrick abound and lead people to have a slightly distorted view of his accomplishments, says Freeman.

St. Patrick is remembered by many for driving the snakes out of Ireland, triumphing over Pagan Druids and their supernatural powers, and using three-leafed shamrocks as an aid to explaining the Trinity, the union of three divine persons of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

"These stories were all made up centuries later by well-meaning monks," Freeman says. "The fact is, there were never any snakes in Ireland. Snakes are not native to that country. And while Patrick may very well have used a clover to talk about the Trinity, we have no direct evidence for that."

As for Patrick’s contests with the Druids, Freeman adds, "Patrick’s battle stories are great reading, but they are pure fiction."

In "St. Patrick of Ireland," Freeman paints a picture of a man who survived great hardships to convert eventual followers to Christianity. The book is also the story of a world in the flux of change — the collapsing Roman Empire and a move from the Classical world to the Medieval.

The story of St. Patrick is a great window into the worlds of slavery, the lives of women and what it was like to live at a time when the Roman Empire was crumbling. "The life of a woman in ancient Ireland was difficult, especially for female slaves," Freeman said. "But Patrick taught that all people, male or female, slave or free, were equal in the eyes of God. Again and again in his letters, Patrick stresses his deep concern for the welfare of Irish women."


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Spreading the Word…Then and Now

By Karen Ehman

"He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Mark 16:15 (NIV)


As a family, we enjoy learning about great missionaries of the faith — whether from the pages of the New Testament and the travels of Paul, or from current day servants who try to spread the wonderful, life-saving news of Jesus in remote places. Did you know that this month there is another missionary we can glean from as we hear of his longing to reach others for Christ? I am talking about St. Patrick.

What do we really know of St. Patrick, in who’s honor patrons don green? To look around at the way modern day folk celebrate St. Patrick’s day, you’d think it all had to do with shamrocks, leprechauns, rainbows and the ever famous pot of gold at the end of them. Well, that and the traditional "wearing of the green" to prevent any pinching that might occur on March 17th each year. But there is actually some wonderful truth that we can celebrate at this holiday and can pass along to the children in our lives.

For as far as history can tell, the story goes like this: At about the age of 16, Patrick, a Scottish young man born into wealth sometime in the late fourth century, most likely around 385, was violently captured by Irish raiders and forced into a life of slavery. Patrick later escaped and was reunited with his family, but in a dream, felt called by God back to Ireland to spread Christianity to the people of that isle. So this godly young man set about to make this dream come true. He prayed for God’s strength and then studied scripture to ready himself. Then He was prepared to return to the land of his captivity. He preached the Gospel and built churches throughout the country until his death on March 17, 461. For the modern day Irish, St. Patrick’s Day is considered a time for spiritual renewal as they fondly remember the slave-turned-evangelist who spread Christianity to the Emerald Isle. For our family today, we feel we can use him as an example of what a young person, sold out for God can do in their generation.

Just think about this man. How many of us, after being captured and held as a slave and forced to work in a foreign land, when finally set free, would actually return to the very place where we were enslaved? It must have taken a great deal of maturity and immense faith in God’s protection to go back to that island. And Patrick must have known that spiritual bondage is far, far worse than physical slavery.

In some ways, don’t we see modern day examples of just such a story? The drug addict who finds freedom from a life of addiction through faith in Christ, sensing a call to return to their old neighborhood and preach the freedom and everlasting life Jesus offers. The women who made a bad choice resulting in her and her unborn child both being the victims of abortion. Now she longs to counsel young girls to choose life for themselves and for their precious baby. All of these people serve as wonderful examples of someone who found freedom and longed to lead others there as well.

So at this time of year, when you spy a leprechaun or see a shamrock, whisper a prayer that God continues to raise up men and women who have been set free to return to the land of their captivity and lead others to the same liberating, life-giving freedom. http://teamsugar.com/group/390347/blog/1123058

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Quotes of Saint Patrick

“What is more, let anyone laugh and taunt if he so wishes. I am not keeping silent, nor am I hiding the signs and wonders that were shown to me by the Lord many years before they happened, [he] who knew everything, even before the beginning of time.”

Christ beside me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ within me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me.”

“Before I was humiliated I was like a stone that lies in deep mud, and he who is mighty came and in his compassion raised me up and exalted me very high and placed me on the top of the wall.”

“I am imperfect in many things, nevertheless I want my brethren and kinsfolk to know my nature so that they may be able to perceive my soul’s desire.”

As I read through these quotes, I am struck by two things: 1) his humility, not many of us would use the image of a stone in mud or openly confess their imperfections and 2) his confidence – laugh at me if you want, taunt me if I want … since I can’t be perfect, make the people around me at least know that is my soul’s desire.

As we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, let us for at least one day try to embrace these two ideals: humility and confidence.

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St. Patrick’s Breastplate

This prayer is often called "St. Patrick’s Breastplate" because of those parts of it which seek God’s protection.  It is also sometimes called "The Deer’s Cry" or "The Lorica".

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through the belief in the threeness,
Through the confession of the oneness
Of the Creator of Creation.

I arise today
Through the strength of Christ’s birth with his baptism,
Through the strength of his crucifixion with his burial,
Through the strength of his resurrection with his ascension,
Through the strength of his descent for the Judgment Day.

I arise today
Through the strength of the love of Cherubim,
In obedience of angels,
In the service of archangels,
In hope of resurrection to meet with reward,
In prayers of patriarchs,
In predictions of prophets,
In preaching of apostles,
In faith of confessors,
In innocence of holy virgins,
In deeds of righteous men.

I arise today
Through the strength of heaven:
Light of sun,
Radiance of moon,
Splendor of fire,
Speed of lightning,
Swiftness of wind,
Depth of sea,
Stability of earth,
Firmness of rock.

I arise today
Through God’s strength to pilot me:
God’s might to uphold me,
God’s wisdom to guide me,
God’s eye to look before me,
God’s ear to hear me,
God’s word to speak for me,
God’s hand to guard me,
God’s way to lie before me,
God’s shield to protect me,
God’s host to save me
From snares of demons,
From temptations of vices,
From everyone who shall wish me ill,
Afar and anear,
Alone and in multitude.

I summon today all these powers between me and those evils,
Against every cruel merciless power that may oppose my body and soul,
Against incantations of false prophets,
Against black laws of pagandom
Against false laws of heretics,
Against craft of idolatry,
Against spells of witches and smiths and wizards,
Against every knowledge that corrupts man’s body and soul.

Christ to shield me today
Against poison, against burning,
Against drowning, against wounding,
So that there may come to me abundance of reward.
Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down, Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through belief in the threeness,
Through confession of the oneness,
Of the Creator of Creation.

Ok, on a personal note, I am not sure why St. Patrick needed to be protected from smiths, but I imagine it had something to do with the original meaning, not just some warped idea that blacksmiths were somehow evil. If you pray this prayer today. feel free to change the word to “tech support” or any other person that you really do not want to have to deal with like “the IRS” or “Obama.”

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