March 17 – St. Patrick’s Day Legends

There are many legends surrounding the life of Patrick and how he became the Bishop associated with St. Patrick’s Day. Learning about these legends and St. Patrick is a great activity for your March homeschool studies. A legend is a story based in tradition. Sometimes there is historical truth in the story, but the story can’t always be proven. Because the St. Patrick’s Day legends occurred so long ago, before accurate records were kept, most people believe them based on faith, or trust. It is important to learn as much as we can about the history behind holidays so we can celebrate them as they were intended.

After you learn about the legends of St. Patrick I hope you will comment below with what you believe. You can even do more research on your own!

What are some fun facts about St. Patrick’s Day?

There are many fun facts about Patrick, and St. Patrick’s day. Wearing green is just part of the fun we have come to expect out of this holiday. You might be surprised to find out that St. Patrick was not Irish! He was a Catholic Bishop from England. When Patrick was just 16 years old, and not even a Christian, he was kidnapped and sold into slavery in Ireland. After he escaped, he trained to become a priest. He became closer to God. God spoke to Patrick by impressing thoughts in his mind. Patrick heard a voice urging him to return to Ireland to serve the people there. Patrick did as God wished. Following the word of God is something that leads you to sainthood!

When Patrick was in Ireland as a Bishop he wanted to teach the people about Christianity. It is said Patrick used the Shamrock (one version of the clover species) to teach about the Holy Trinity. The three leaves in one symbolize the Father, Son and Holy Spirit in one supreme being. The shamrock is now a symbol of Ireland as well. The clover we call a shamrock grew wild all over Ireland so it was very familiar and comforting to the people, just as the idea of God was meant to be. Patrick was teaching the people very new ideas at the time. It was very wise of him to use things that were familiar to the people to help them understand.

You can make your own Blessed Trinity Craft to celebrate St. Patrick’s day and to remind YOU of the love of God!

It is available for FREE in both the CURRICULUM CLUB (registration required) as well as in our Teachers Pay Teachers Store!

The Most Famous Legend

Another legend often associated with Patrick is that he drove the snakes out of Ireland. According to my research, that is likely not true, as there were no snakes in Ireland to begin with. Going way back into time when all the land of Earth was connected, the area that we now know as Ireland was in the middle of an Ice Age – far too cold for our cold-blooded friends the snake. As years pass and the Ice melts, the land separates. The water surrounding what is now lovingly referred to as the Emerald Island fills with melted ice and is far to cold for snakes to have traveled in from nearby land masses. Legends are stories that pass down by word of mouth, and Patrick did wonderful things for the people of Ireland. It’s fun to think of Patrick helping the Irish overcome their pagan ways and become more like Christ. Perhaps driving the snakes out was simply a symbolic story.

Why we Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day

Celebrating the saints allows us to appreciate good people, regardless of your religious affiliation. Saints are people who listened to the invitation from God to follow him, and make him the center of their lives. Saints come from all walks of life. They have different professions, come from different countries, and are both men and women. By following God, Saints show us what is possible when we follow God; when we make good choices in life.  

St. Patrick’s Day is a feast day in the Catholic Church. March 17th is used to celebrate his life because it is believed that Patrick died on March 17th in 461 AD. His feast day has evolved into quite a celebration of all things green, Leprechaun mischief and parades. In our homeschool, we celebrate to remember him and to honor his work. It is a perfect day to explore St. Patrick’s Day legends and fun facts.

How to explore St. Patrick’s Day Legends

You can dive deeper into St. Patrick’s Day Legends and the holiday we now celebrate with the Homeschool Holiday resource: St. Patrick, The man behind the holiday.

In this resource learners are guided through a slide presentation about St. Patrick’s life (some of the things presented here). They complete companion note taking pages to outline what they learned and as a BONUS the St. Patrick Paper Plate Craft is included!

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