What You May Not Know About St Patrick’s Day Images

Printery HouseIn America, St Patrick’s Day is all about Ireland. On St Patrick’s Day revelers wear green, attend parades or eat green eggs, and announce loyalty to Ireland. But, the holiday is really a holy feast day devoted to the memory of the man who first brought the message of Christianity to the shores of Ireland. St Patrick died on March 17th and that is why the holiday is celebrated on that date.

What you may not know about St Patrick

St Patrick’s day images abound but people often know very little about this missionary priest. Here are just a few surprising facts:

1. Patrick was not Irish. Patrick was born a Roman Briton, meaning he was English.
2. Patrick was not interested in Christianity as a youth. Six years of slavery in Ireland were needed to wake up his spiritual attention and develop his relationship with God.
3. Patrick was not born with that name. He was born Mawyn Succat. Patrick was the name given him when he entered the priesthood.
4. Patrick used a three-leafed clover (shamrock) to help people understand the Holy Trinity as three-in-one. The three leaves stand for the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, but are one plant growing from a single stem.
5. Patrick is credited with creating the Celtic cross. Ireland was a land steeped in worship of nature and spirits when Patrick arrived. Patrick placed a sun behind the cross to help the Irish understand Christ as supreme over all.

Explaining St Patrick’s Day images to children

It is important and fun to help children understand the roots of holidays. Secular St Patrick’s day images may blur the true meaning of this day, so use ideas such as those found in this article to help children understand the history and meaning of St. Patrick’s Day.

Since the holiday commemorates the bringing of the gospel to Ireland, why not make an Irish dinner? Food is a great way to communicate other cultures. After dinner, tell the story of St Patrick – his slavery, his awareness of God, his willingness to return to the land of his former slavery so that people could hear the message of salvation. Tell the children that the Irish also had trouble understanding the gospel at first, so Patrick found ways to help them. Have children color a three-leaf clover and do what Patrick did, explain the Trinity.

St Patrick shared his faith, and so can you

St Patrick returned to a land where he had been enslaved so that people trapped in superstition and paganism could know the truth. He used words and he used practical tools to help his listeners understand his message. The Printery House has a complete selection of cards with St Patrick’s day images and messages. The Printery House also offers religious greeting cards and items with the Celtic cross and gifts with words of Irish blessing. Learn more today about these unique Christian greeting cards and gifts offered by the monks of Conception Abbey, tucked in the rolling green hills of Northwest Missouri.

St. Patrick’s Day Cards: Surprising Truths About the Images

shamrock st. patrick's day cardsSt Patrick’s Day is a whimsical holiday best known in America as a day for smiling leprechauns, wearing green, eating corned beef, and decorating with shamrocks. Many enjoy pretending to be Irish on this day, sending a few St. Patrick’s Day cards or at least celebrating all things Irish. But few may pause to think about how these symbols relate to a holiday named for Ireland’s most important saint.

St Patrick’s Day and St. Patrick’s Day cards are loaded with religious imagery, from the three-leafed shamrocks which represent the Holy Trinity to the green which stands not only for the Emerald Isle, but also for new life in Christ. Even legends of St Patrick, such as the one which says he drove all the snakes out of Ireland, are most likely references to the power of the gospel Patrick carried to drive sin out of men’s hearts. The Celtic cross is another contribution of Patrick to Irish culture. It was St Patrick who combined the pagan Irish honor for the sun with the symbol of Christianity to create a uniquely Irish icon of salvation.

The Story of St. Patrick

St. Patrick was born into a 5th century English family but through much hardship and earnest seeking after God was himself transformed into a missionary to the Irish. Although Patrick had a religious heritage, just like many modern teens he neither thought through nor embraced the faith of his family when he was an adolescent. That cavalier attitude toward the things of God changed dramatically when young Patrick was captured by raiders and made a slave in Ireland for six long years. Patrick spent those years shepherding for an Irish chieftain but he also spent them crying out to God in prayer and fasting.

It was in the chains of slavery that Patrick encountered the God of his fathers and learned to hear His voice. One day that voice assured him that his years of slavery were at an end and, confident in God’s message, Patrick walked a couple of hundred miles to the sea where, after more prayer, Patrick was granted berth for England. Now, safe in the bosom of his English family once again, Patrick decided to devote his life to the God who had met him and rescued him. He entered school and prepared for the priesthood.

But God had more to say to Patrick, and through a heavenly dream Patrick felt certain God was calling him to take the gospel back to Ireland. A CBN article described the Ireland to which Patrick returned. It was not only a land of personal ghosts for Patrick, but it was a land filled with superstition and druid practices. To a people enmeshed in tribal skirmishes, nature worship and dark fears, Patrick brought news of the One true God, a God of love and peace, a God who sacrificed personally to prove His love. Patrick’s message along with his own powerful testimony won the hearts and minds of Irishmen and women to Christ.

St Patrick is credited with establishing 300 churches during his 29 years of ministry. There are other works attributed to St Patrick, such as driving the snakes out of Ireland, but these are largely myth and legend. Put simply, Patrick’s gospel ministry transformed a nation, and its legacy is represented today in popular Celtic cross designs and Irish family wall cross designs.

Share the Spirit of St. Patrick with religious St. Patrick’s Day cards

This St. Patrick’s Day the monks at Conception Abbey invite you to celebrate the true message of St. Patrick by sending friends and loved ones a religious greeting card. The Printery House offers a variety of St Patrick’s Day cards which convey the spirit of Patrick’s ministry. Words of blessing, wisdom and prayer can help you cheerfully convey your good wishes for friends and loved ones and just might shine a light into someone’s heart.

Five Traditions for the Season of Lent: Simple Ways to Refocus Today

crosswithsashRefocus: In a word, this could be the heart of the season of Lent.

Early Christians utilized the Lent period to carry out preparations for baptism and Resurrection events, modeling their activities after the biblical story of the first Easter with the focus on the sacrifice of Jesus and the cross, his burial and the Resurrection. Many activities surrounding the season of Lent were in place to honor and reflect the 40 days Jesus was in preparation for his ministry work, and his victory over deep temptations during that wilderness period.

Today, many individuals and families carry out the traditions for the season of Lent in equally meaningful ways:

1. Refocus on prayer.
Prayer during Lent is a time of remembering and reconnecting to the Lord using the ever-powerful tool, regular prayer, and honors His repeated calling to pray without ceasing. Praying with a focus in mind each week can be effective, such as for family members, neighborhoods, leaders or national causes. Some use a specific prayer cross during the season of Lent to help refocus their prayer time. You can also incorporate modern technology to help you refocus on prayer, such as setting daily timers or alarms on your smartphone to remind you to pause and refocus on prayer.

2. Refocus with color and décor. Purple (or violet) has been used for centuries to commemorate the anguish Christ endured at the cross, and the weight of sin the world bears. It also represents the awesome reality that with the crucifixion and resurrection Christians are called to new life as sons and daughters of the King – thus representing royalty. Utilize purple in crosses and crucifixes, Christian wall art or other meaningful items. Children will also respond to décor and color that reflects the meaning of Lent.

3. Refocus by reaching out through service to the poor or needy.
Lent opens the door to renewed acts of service, representing and honoring the servant attitude and actions of Jesus – especially toward the poor and impoverished. Whole families can be involved in service, such as volunteering at a local food kitchen or helping an elderly neighbor. Acts of service can also mean activities like sending religious greeting cards of hope or encouragement to prisoners or missionaries.

4. Refocus through sacrifice or fasting.
There are many ways to honor the season of Lent through sacrifice or fasting, and it doesn’t always mean a stopping of a habit or indulgence. It can also mean starting of an act or habit that brings justice or mercy to others. While some fast from personal indulgences for the 40 days of Lent, others may choose to begin offering some of their daily resources to those living without.

5. Refocus through a renewed passion for scripture.
A commitment to daily reflection and reading on scripture is a very meaningful part of the season of Lent. Using a book of Lent devotions can be a great guide for your journey, as can setting out new scriptural reminders around your home or office. Reading God’s word daily can become a favorite and cherished part of your day that you observe for years to come.

As you and your family consider traditions for the season of Lent that will help you refocus and renew your faith, visit The Printery House for inspiration and ideas. Every card is created and printed on-site at Conception Abbey by monks, artists and writers who are devoted to helping you strengthen and share your faith.

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Connect with us on the new Printery House blog. Find interesting facts about our art, artists, and more, learn about new products and new ideas in the works, and give us feedback to help us serve you better. Our mission is to proclaim the Gospel and share the Christian faith through the creation and distribution of printed products and contemporary religious art. We provide the means, but you do the sharing when you send our cards, display our art or give our gifts. We value your opinions, and this blog will be one of the ways you can let us know what you think.