While St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated in more countries than any other national festival, how and what we celebrate actually has little to do with the holiday namesake. As it turns out, St. Patrick, the Patron Saint of Ireland, wasn’t even Irish. He was born in the British Isles to parents of Roman descent. And technically, he was never canonized, making his saintly status somewhat questionable. Add to that tales of snakes in Ireland, lucky four-leaf clovers, and corned beef and cabbage, and we have a host of fables with no real resemblance to the namesake of the holiday. What a contrast to the recorded history of Jesus! The Bible gives a flawless accounting of history and the works of Jesus.
As strange as it seems, “history” can be very inaccurate. In college, my world history professor explained some of the flaws involved as humans record historical events. First, it’s often one person’s perspective and no one person can collect both – or all – sides of a story. Also, how a person recalls events often depends on his own mood and experiences. In addition, human memories become jumbled and recollections become blurred in times of great change, stress or importance. Which means ONLY the divinely inspired Word of God can be trusted to be an accurate historical record.
Though legends are fun, even “saintly” stories should be heard with a cautious ear. While the “real” St. Patrick, a man devoted to missionary work, is certainly a good man to be remembered, our greatest celebration should remain centered on Jesus. The infallible history of the Bible is the only source in which we are assured of truth and can be confident as we Believe It. Live It. Share It.®
~Tamara and Michele