St. Patrick's Day: Is the Shamrock “Lucky?”

By Cindy Eslinger

With March upon us and St. Patrick's Day used as a reason to celebrate, what does it all really mean? What is the significance of the four leaf clover and the “lucky” holiday?

St. Patrick's Day or The Day of the Festival of Patrick is a cultural and religious celebration held annually on March 17 to commemorate the patron Saint of Ireland, Saint Patrick (AD 385 – 461). In addition to celebrating Saint Patrick, the holiday also observes the arrival of Christianity in Ireland. Christians honor the day by attending special church services while the secular world celebrates by partying to excess.

Irish culture dictates the wearing of green clothing and accessories. It's said that Saint Patrick used the shamrock (3-leaf clover) to explain the Holy Trinity to the pagan Irish. That story first appeared in writing in 1726, although it may be older than that. In pagan Ireland, three was a significant number and the Irish had many triple deities which aided Saint Patrick in his evangelistic efforts.

For those who wonder about the four-leaf clover and the significance we place on it for luck, it's believed that those who find one by accident will have good luck. Additionally, the four leaves are each believed to be symbolic representations: the first for faith, the second for hope, the third for love, and the fourth for luck.

According to James 1:17, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” Instead of blaming or praising luck for the things that happen to us in life, we need to rely with confidence on our faithful God who supplies all of our needs according to His purpose.

Perhaps Today Ministries endeavors to help you build your faith so you are able to sustain truth and power from God through life's struggles. With all of the symbolism in this holiday, we should stay focused on Him from Whom the blessings in this life really come.