Ah, the festival of Saint Patrick. For centuries, people the world over have embraced the
17th of March as a day of Irish-loving festivities, but in truth the celebration is actually
rooted in the story of a resilient, passionate man with a mission.
Saint Patrick was born in Britain under Romanian rule sometime in the fourth century to
a family of religious leaders; his father was a deacon and his grandfather a priest in the
Christian church. It wasn’t until he was captured and enslaved by Irish raiders at the age
of 16, that he began to nurture his own spirituality. For six years Patrick learned the
traditions, religion, and language of his kidnappers while he tended their sheep. Much of
his time was spent in prayer and he drew ever closer to his Christian God with each
passing year. Eventually he escaped his captors and returned home to Britain where he
pursued his religious studies to become a priest. In the year 432, he felt called back to
Ireland and he returned – this time as a bishop – and worked to convert the pagan Irish
to Christianity. It is rumored a favorite tool for this job was the shamrock, easily
illustrating the difficult concept that the three primary entities of the church – the Father,
the Son, and the Holy Spirit – exist as one. He is believed to have died on the 17th of
March in 461.
The feast of Saint Patrick has spread across the world both as a celebration of a deeply
spiritual man who dedicated his life to bringing Christianity to a largely pagan Ireland,
and a celebration of the country and its heritage.
Over the years the shamrock, the color green, and the flag of Ireland have been
embraced by Christians and non-christians alike as symbols of the holiday. The clover
has become so synonymous with the saint and his work that people the world over have
taken up the tradition of collecting or gifting the shamrock, Celtic cross, and other
symbols of friendship and Christianity such as the Claddagh and traditional cross in
commemoration of the holiday.
Coleman Black Hills Gold jewelry carries a beautiful array of items featuring these
symbols crafted with the signature rose and green gold leaves paired with karat gold or
sterling silver. Each piece is unique, handcrafted, and of heirloom quality – a stunning
representation of the Irish in all of us.
By Jaclyn Kennison, JLance Freelance and Events