St. Patrick lived many years ago. His parents were good people aad they did all they could to teach their little boy to love and serve God. Patrick was a pious little fellow. He tried to obey his parents and kept his soul pure and spotless. One day Patrick and his little sister were playing in a field when the girl slipped and fell. As she fell she struck her forehead against a sharp stone. The stone cut her head and the girl seemed to be dead. As soon as little Patrick saw his sister lying so quietly and bleeding so much from the deep cut, he knelt down beside her and prayed. Then he rose and made the sign of the cross over her and at once the wound healed and his sister was cured. Only a slight mark remained as a reminder of what had happened.
Patrick was a bright boy and took great pleasure in his studies. When he was old enough his parents sent him away to a school. But one day a terrible thing happened. Some wicked
men came to the place and captured many men and boys and carried them away to a strange country. Patrick was among them. This was very hard, indeed. Do you not think that he prayed to God to bring him home safely to his parents? The bad men sold Patrick to a man that made him take care of his sheep and swine. Even in this great trouble, Patrick did not forget to pray. After a long time, Patrick succeeded in getting back home once more.
Later he made up his mind to go back to the country where he had been captive and to preach to the people about Jesus Christ. So Patrick came to Ireland to teach the people there to know God and to serve him. This was not an easy task. It was hard for these people to understand some of the things Patrick told them. One day he was telling them about the three divine Persons in God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. To make it easier for them to understand this, he showed them a shamrock. In our country you often see clover leaves. These are shaped like the shamrock and from this they learned to remember the three divine Persons in God. There were many shamrocks growing in Ireland. This made the land look green for the whole place was covered with these little plants. Do you know what clover is? Have you ever seen any? Because the land was so green people called it "Emerald Island" which means green island. Now you see why people wear bits of green ribbon or shamrocks on Saint Patrick's Day. They want to show that they honor St. Patrick for what he did for Ireland. St. Patrick taught them to know Jesus Christ and showed them how they could serve God best. He lived many years in Ireland and did much good.
When you see people wear green ribbons or shamrocks, think of all that St. Patrick did to teach the people of Ireland the true Faith. Thank God for having given St. Patrick the grace to save so many souls. Try to imitate the example of St. Patrick by leading a holy life, so that people may learn from you to love God and to serve Him faithfully.
Source: Practical Aids for Catholic Teachers, Imprimatur 1928
I will tell you a story that I think you will like. It occurred many years ago, in old Europe, long, long before America was known to the rest of the world. It is about a boy who lived in France a very, very longtime ago. His parents were rich and noble, and they loved him dearly.
One day, when he and his companions were playing by the sea-shore, they were eanied off by some warrior men from Ireland, and were taken as slaves to that country. Such was the custom of those times. The captive youths were sold to different masters, and our youth fell into the hands of a very cruel one, who sent him to herd his flocks grazing on the mountains.
Now this was hard life for one who had been so carefully brought up, and had lived so happily in his own fair land. Nevertheless, he did not repine; he hoped in God, and, knowing that the best way to please Him was to obey his master, even though he was a harsh one, and to do faithfully the work that was given him to do, he did it cheerfully.
At first he shed many a tear for the home and friends so far away. Soon, however, he began to take pleasure in looking at the worlds of God—the sky and the clouds, the mountains and the trees, the birds that sang so sweetly in that country, and even the many-colored butterflies that flitted by on the summer air, and he thought how great and mighty must be the God who made the earth and the heavens, with all their wonders, and who gave to man the privilege of knowing Him, and the power to love and serve Him.
He had spent full seven years in this hard and toilsome life; he had suffered much from cold and hunger, never murmuring, but bearing all things cheerfully for God's sake, when one night an angel came to him as he slept, and told him he should soon see his dear native land again—that a ship was ready to take him home. Full of joy, he set out next morning for the sea-coast, and arriving there, he saw a ship lying at anchor, bound for France.
He humbly besought the crew to give him a passage, but they refused. Then the young man only said, "God's will be done!" and turned away with a heavy heart. He had travelled only a few miles, when he was overtaken by a messenger, praying him to return and go on board, for that his God had sent a terrible storm, which had driven the ship back to the coast as often as she attempted to put to sea, and the crew began to think that it was because of their refusing him a passage.
Meekly blessing God for this marvelous favor, he returned with the messenger, went on board, and the vessel set sail with a fair wind for France. On reaching his native shore, the youth's first action was to kneel on the sandy beach, and offer his thanks to the Almighty ruler of sea and land. He remained at home only a short time, when again he was warned in a dream of God's will concerning him. He saw in a vision the children of the Irish race holding out their hands to him, and beseeching him to go back amongst them.
Being only anxious to do the will of God, he went to an uncle of his, Germanus, who was a bishop and a great saint, and, by his advice and instruction, he prepared for the holy ministry. After several years of preparation, he set out on foot for Rome, where Celestine, another great saint, was then Pope.
By him our former captive was made a bishop, and sent, with a few companions, to preach the gospel in the pagan land where he had been a shepherd boy. In a little time he had converted the whole country, and nearly all the princes and great people, to the Christian faith. He made priests and bishops, and built churches all over that beautiful country. That captive boy was Patrick, the Apostle of Ireland, who is honored by the Church of God as one of the greatest of her saints.
Praise to his name, the ransom'd slave who broke
All other chains, and set the bondsman free !
Praise to his name, the Husbandman who sowed
The good seed over all that fertile isle!
Praise to the Herdsman, who, into the fold
Of the One Shepherd, lead our Father's flock,
Whose voice still calls us, wheresoe'er we hide.
Source: The Metropolitan Third Reader , Sum Permissum Superiorum, 1878
Two coloring pictures can be found below.