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South Valley Riverton Journal

Four lessons from St. Patrick

Feb 29, 2024 11:28AM ● By Holly Curby

Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in Los Angeles, California. (Photo courtesy of Holly Curby)

On March 17, many people look for that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow and wear green to avoid being pinched. But did you know there are lessons we can learn from the day’s honoree—St. Patrick?  

St. Patrick was born into a very wealthy family. However, his luck took a turn when he was kidnapped by Irish raiders. Despite his circumstances, he found the courage to escape and traveled over 200 miles across the rugged Irish terrain where he came across a shipping vessel that happened to be bound for his homeland.

This is where we find four golden nuggets of wisdom and inspiration from St. Patty:

1. Take action. Note that St. Patrick didn’t wait to be rescued from his circumstances. He took action himself. What action do we need to take? Where might we need to step out of our comfort zone? We won’t ever reach those waters heading to where we want to be until we take that first step.

2. Forgive. One of the most surprising aspects of St. Patrick’s life was his decision to return to Ireland as a missionary 15 years after he had escaped. Despite his being held captive there, he was able to muster up the strength to forgive his captors to the point where he willingly returned. Who might we need to forgive in our life? Remember, holding onto resentment only creates bitterness and burden within us. 

3. Take the higher road. Not only did St. Patrick return to his captors to share with them as a missionary, but he also went above and beyond in paying them a full ransom price of a slave as compensation for his escape. Although the eye for an eye revenge approach might be the first thought when a wrong has been done to us, might we try the “killing them with kindness” concept by simply taking the higher road? Yes, often easier said than done. 

4. Understand those around us. While in captivity, St. Patrick learned how to speak the Celtic language of his captives. This proved especially beneficial years later when returning as a missionary since he was able to speak the native tongue to the people he was trying to reach. Such a powerful reminder for us to invest in our listening, understanding and communicating skills. Whether it be through resources such as personality tests or the five love languages, meeting those around us where they are fosters healthier, more impacting relationships.

Through these four nuggets of wisdom, St. Patrick not only reached his very enemy who had taken him captive, but he ended up reaching the entire nation of Ireland with his faith. As a leader at work, in the community, in our church or even in our own home, how might the tale of St. Patrick teach us to transform our circumstances into opportunities for growth and impact? 

This St. Patrick’s Day, might we remember that it is more than just a tale and opportunity to dress from head to toe in green. May we be encouraged and inspired to intentionally live our lives full of purpose, no matter our circumstances, as we make it a great day for a great day.

Want to learn more about personality tests or using the five love languages? Check out Holly’s Highlights podcast Season 2 Episode 4 and Season 3 Episode 3. Holly’s Highlights podcast is available on and wherever you listen to podcasts including Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Pandora, and even “Alexa, play Holly’s Highlights podcast.” λ