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The Real St. Patrick—Not the Caricature We All Know

The Mask and the Mirror CC

Shamrock - The shamrock is said to have been used to illustrate the Christian doctrine of the Holy Trinity by St. Patrick in the 5th century. The small clover plant creates a short,but expansive bed and the stems produce three leaves, which signify the Holy Trinity.

Beverly De Soto - published on 09/02/14


—led a Christian procession to Tara. The Druids and magicians’ incantations created a cloud "worse than Egyptian darkness" over the hill and surrounding plain.

Patrick called on them to remove the cloud, and the High King agreed. When the Druids’ efforts were in vain, at Patrick’s prayer the sun sent forth its rays and ‘the brightest sunshine flooded the entire valley. The legend also reports that "by demoniac power the Arch-Druid Lochru, like Simon Magus of old, was lifted up high in the air" at this, but when Patrick knelt in prayer the Druid was dashed to pieces upon a rock.

Laying the Foundations for Ireland’s Faith

Patrick established his See at Armagh, and traveled Ireland preaching, writing and baptizing the pagan Irish. He explained the mystery of the Triune God using a shamrock, and finally convinced the Druids that they were worshiping idols under a belief system that kept them enslaved. By accepting Christianity, he told them, they would be elevated to “the people of the Lord and the sons of God.”

He is also credited with appointing Church officials, creating councils, founding monasteries and organizing Ireland into dioceses, in effect laying the foundations for Ireland’s incredible missionary Catholicism in the centuries to follow.

St. Patrick died on March 17, 461 in Saul, Ireland. He is said to have been buried in Ulster, County Down, Ireland. Though he was never formally canonized, St. Patrick is on the List of Saints, and venerated in the Orthodox Catholic Church, as well as the ‘Church of Ireland,’ which is in the Anglican Communion.

Beverly de Sotois Editor of Regina Magazine.

This article appeared originally inRegina Magazineand is reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

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