We gained a new student in January, one who returned to us after three years in public school. He has turned the Troublemint Twins into a trio. He announced one day that he was the “mastermind” and his intention was to have the others as “henchmen.” The gang thinks that because it is March they must wear green every day. He who does not must be pinched. The one who came up with this idea is the lead pincher himself. The Pinching Machine was devilishly active for the first two days of March, not even respecting the wearing of the green. I nipped his little pincers yesterday when I told him that St. Patty’s Day was only one day out of the whole of March—and during Spring Break when he and his gang would be at home terrorizing parents and grandparents, not at school—so his two digits best remain to himself or he’d suffer consequences he hadn’t yet dreamed of. His little hand relaxed. Wise move. He’s a quick learner.
For all his wildness the kid’s a lot of fun. As soon as February ended he was excited about March. He danced into the room with a jig and wanted to know if we could speak “Scottlish” all month. He asked questions about St. Patrick, whether we would learn about him. Of course we would, I told him. And leprechauns, and post of gold, too? No, we don’t talk much about those things.
We learn about St. Patrick himself. He is a good saint with which to acquaint children—not so much as a model and an example, but for his writings. Patrick’s Letter to the Soldiers of Coroticus, The Lorica (or Breastplate), and his Confession are excellent study resources for children to learn how others have confessed their Christian faith. While Patrick is not necessarily an easy read, he is worth the effort. For the well-catechized child, his words are not only familiar; they prove also to contain the true treasure for which his day is remembered. It is not with gold and silver that Christ rescues us in and from this world, but with his holy precious Body and Blood.
Good resources for teaching St. Patrick are