On his mission to convert Ireland to Christianity, St. Partick was met with his fair share of opposition and scepticism, and to be fair to the locals – the concept of faith without proof is one that’s hard to grasp by many even today. It is told that Patrick was trying to explain the Holy Trinity, that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit all exist as one God, to a particularly doubtful audience who just couldn’t wrap their heads around the concept. In order to illustrate his point, he plucked a common shamrock from the grass at his feet and held it up so his spectators could clearly see it. “This shamrock”, he proclaimed, “is proof on earth that three can exist as one. If this plant had one leaf, it would fail to be a shamrock. Had it two, it would still not be recognisable as the sprig which I hold in my hand. It is only when the three leaves exist together, that the clover is complete, and so is the way with God.”
Whether or not this actually happened is difficult to prove, but the story has been so embedded in Ireland’s culture and history that the shamrock became our national flower and a symbol of Irishness all over the world - especially on St. Patrick’s Day.