Today (Monday March 17th 2014) is St Patrick's Day. There are some that assume he was a Catholic “saint”. Indeed, he is revered by the Catholic Church, and is patron saint of Ireland – a catholic majority country. However, I am sure that Patrick would have hated the veneration ascribed to him in this way.
Patrick was, in fact, a genuine man of God. He was Celtic, but not Irish. Indeed, he was probably born in Wales. There are many important teachings associated with his ministry, but, to me, the most important of these is his teaching on the Trinity.
Patrick not only believed and taught the Trinity, he accepted the doctrine as of primary importance, worthy of acceptance by all Christians. Indeed, he would say, along with Athanasius, that continued non-acceptance of the doctrine of the Trinity is an indication of not being saved. Famously, he compared the Trinity to the leaves or leaf of a shamrock; whose leaves actually look as if they are comprised of three leaves. Therefore, one leaf, three sections.
Patrick would be the first to admit that no analogy is perfect. However, his illustration is still a useful mnemonic for the doctrine.
Here are two special things to celebrate St Patrick's Day. The first is my ebook “Genesis and the Trinity” which you can purchase here for $3. The second is a free pdf of the prayer St Patrick's Breastplate, which, if you are not offended by written prayers, just about says it all for me as far as starting each morning right.
|Genesis and the Trinity|
|St Patrick's Breastplate|