History of Ireland
Saint Patrick's Day

What is the symbolic meaning of a shamrock?

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March 04, 2014 3:29PM

For the Celtic Druids, three was a religiously mystical number. They regarded the shamrock as a sacred plant because its leaves formed a triad.

An enduring story of St. Patrick holds that the shamrock was used by him, to help illustrate the Holy Trinity. Through its use he was able to increase people's understanding of God and church, and how they were connected. St. Patrick is said to have used the shamrock to symbolize how The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit can be separate but also part of the same entity. However, though the story is persistent, it remains a myth for lack of corroborating evidence or support.