The Shamrock...an example of the Trinity
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St. Patrick was born in Britain to wealthy parents near the end of the fourth century. At the age of sixteen, Patrick was taken prisoner by a group of Irish raiders, who were attacking his family's estate. They transported him to Ireland where he spent six years in captivity. Accounts do not indicate that he had a very strong religious background before he was taken as a slave. During the time of captivity, he worked as a shepherd, outdoors and away from people. Lonely and afraid, Patrick turned to his religion for solace, praying daily. His faith grew and he became a devout Christian.
After more than six years as a prisoner, Patrick escaped. According to his writings, he heard a voice he believed to be God's, telling him it was time to leave Ireland. Fleeing his master and now in his twenties, he travelled 200 miles away where he boarded a ship and returned home to his family.
A few years after returning home, he had a vision that caused him to eventually return to Ireland as a missionary. After fifteen years of religious training, he was ordained a priest and returned to Ireland to minister to the Christians already living in Ireland and to preach to the Irish.
Legend credits Patrick with teaching the Irish about the concept of the Trinity by showing people the shamrock, a three-leaf clover, using it to highlight the 'three divine persons in one God' Christian belief.
What a wonderful example of a person with a heart for missions! God grew his faith during a difficult time. After he gained freedom, God strengthened him in his walk and led him to a strong desire to return to the people that had held him hostage! I love the example of the shamrock. It is another way to teach my children how to understand the beauty of the Trinity...The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit as one. Should we be lucky enough to find a 'Four leaf clover'...well, we might just say that stands for the cross.
I pray that my children will always see Him in this world, even in something as small as a shamrock.