Once I became a Christian, I actually realized my birthday is on a unique holiday. I really wanted to know the true meaning of St. Patrick's Day from a Christian perspective. On one of my birthday's, my brother gave me a great read called the "Confession of Saint Patrick." It is the personal confession of the true Saint Patrick. The confession is a life story of Saint Patrick, which is very inspirational for students to go out into the world and make a difference for the gospel.
Here is a brief summary. As an early teenager, Saint Patrick was taken captive by pirates in Ireland. When he was taken away, he was forced to work as a slave, herding pigs and toiling farms. It was during this season of his life God spoke to him and gave him a gospel-centered vision for the lost. First, God revealed to him of his unbelief and sinfulness, bringing him to his knees to accept Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. Second, God allowed him to escape and go back to his homeland to share the gospel of Jesus Christ. His redemption brought revival. When he came back to his hometown, he shared the gospel with everyone. The revival sparked a revolution in his heart to go back to his hometown and clean up his country with the gospel. Once back home, the beginning of a reformation was at hand in Ireland where celtic mysticism and magic were popular and rooted in all religions. Therefore, celtic pagan lifestyles and the worship of false gods were very common among all men. Therefore, Saint Patrick used a native plant to use in order to evangelize the pagans with christ-centered and gospel-centered truth. He would show it to people and explain the true Triune God of the Holy Bible. It was called a 'Shamrock'. That is the significance behind the shamrock was that it symbolizes the Holy Trinity. This was a defining moment in his ministry because even to this day we look back at his evangelistic efforts (even though many myths were created and made up about Saint Patrick after his death).
Saint Patrick should not be remember for just a shamrock, but for all of the good missionary work he did. He started a lot of ministries and helped reform Ireland to a God fearing land that were missionary-oriented (feeding the poor, orphanages, etc.).
Saint Patrick's Confession is one of my favorite things to read on my birthday. Here are some Christ-centered excerpts:
"I give thanks to Him who strengthened me in all things, so that I should not be hindered in my setting out and also in my work which I was taught by Christ my Lord."
"Therefore, indeed, I cannot keep silent, nor would it be proper, so many favors and graces has the Lord deigned to bestow on me in the land...our way to repay Him is to exalt Him and confess His wonders before every nation under heaven."
"For there is no other God, nor ever was before, nor shall be hereafter, but God the Father, unbegotten and without beginning, in whom all things began, whose are all things, as we have been taught; and His Son Jesus Christ, who manifestly always existed with the Father, before the beginning of time in the Spirit with the Father, indescribably begotten before all things, and all things visible and invisible were made by Him. He was made man, conquered death and was received into Heaven, to the Father who gave him all power over every name in Heaven and on Earth, and in Hell, so that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord and God, in whom we believe. And we look to His imminent coming again, the judge of the living and the dead, who will render to each according to his deeds. And he poured out His Holy Spirit on us in abundance, the gift and pledge of immortality, which makes believers and the obedient into sons of God and co-heirs of Christ who is revealed, and we worship one God in the Trinity of holy name."
It is so sad to see so many people missing the true point of who was Saint Patrick. Honestly, the day is to praise and worship the "true God; the living God and the everlasting King!" (Jeremiah 10:10). Today's culture has warped the holiday into a alcoholic addicting, leprechaun leaping, shamrock scandal of the true legacy of St. Patrick's Day.