Celebrating American holidays in El Salvador are always a little different to say the least. Today is one of those days as it is St. Patrick’s Day. The kids did get to wear green to school since they go to bi-lingual schools, and Tori attends the International School. Their schools try to incorporate other holidays around the world. It was funny this morning trying to explain the “wearing of the green” to my co-workers at our staff meeting. At first they thought I was talking about Earth Day and we all had a good laugh! But I did get an opportunity to share a little history about St. Patrick and who he was. I don’t know if you know the history, so I’ll share what I shared with them.
When Patrick was just a boy in England, he was kidnapped by pirates who trafficked humans. He was taken to Ireland as a slave, but eventually he made his way back to England. It was there that God placed on his heart a burden for the lost people of Ireland. Many of them were involved in the ancient pagan religions. He travelled back to Ireland and shared the truth of the Gospel with them. Many people chose to follow Jesus as a result of his life’s work. He eventually became the patron saint of Ireland.
I love the story of his life because he was a missionary like us. He was obedient to God’s calling to share the story of Jesus with people who didn’t know Him. He was passionate to carry out that calling in his life. I love history and I love to learn from those who walked out their faith hundreds of years ago. I thank God for what we can see in their lives. I especially love this excerpt from a poem that is attributed to St. Patrick.
Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks of me,
Christ in the eye that sees me,
Christ in the ear that hears me.
St. Patrick’s Day is a fun day to celebrate legends and Irish culture. But it is also a day for me to remember that many before have walked the hard road of obedience and I hope that many will come after me as well.
A little St. Patrick’s Day fun with the kids…
Brings back some memories from your childhood. Remember the green orange juice and the green milk? Not a hit. But the shamrock cookies were much looked forward to and I see you’re carrying on the tradition. So fun. I also remember the annual historical/spiritual lessons about St. Patrick that your dad shared with all of you. Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you and your children – descendents of Thomas O’Reilly Frech and those who came before him!
Ha, ha, green orange juice and milk–that’s what I remember from my childhood!!