LCG Does Not Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day

Dr. Douglas Winnail

March 17th is the day traditionally observed as “St. Patrick’s Day” by many Catholics, Irish, and others. But the celebrations are not limited to one day:

St. Patrick’s Day is practically celebrated all month on Long Island, with community parades, Irish music and dance events scheduled from Rockville Centre to Montauk. (,0,7906971.story)

But the question is, was Patrick the first to bring Christianity to the British Isles? And the related question is, does Ireland have the original Christian faith today?

The answer to both questions is no.

The one claimed to be St. Patrick by the Romans simply was not the first to bring Christianity to the British Isles. Hippolytus (an early Catholic saint), in the early third century, claimed that one of the seventy that Jesus sent out to preach ended up in Britain:

These two belonged to the seventy disciples who were scattered…Aristobulus, bishop of Britain (Hippolytus. Where Each OF Them Preached, And Where HE Met His End).

If that is so, Aristobulus could have have been placed in charge by one of the apostles as the seventy (Luke 10:1,17) had to have known the original apostles.But it is clear that by the early third century, it was known that some version of Christianity had made it into the British Isles. And as others have also indicated, this could have occurred earlier.

Eusebius, for another example, wrote in the 4th century that Jesus’disciples reached the British Isles:

His disciples…to preach to all the Name of Jesus, to teach about His marvellous deeds in country and town, that some of them should take possession of the Roman Empire, and the Queen of Cities itself, and others the Persian, others the Armenian, that others should go to the Parthian race, and yet others to the Scythian, that some already should have reached the very ends of the world, should have reached the land of the Indians, and some have crossed the Ocean and reached the Isles of Britain (Eusebius of Caesarea: Demonstratio Evangelica, Book 3, Chapter 5. Translated by W.J. Ferrar. Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge. London. The Macmillan Company. New York 1920, p. 113).

Notice a sixth century account:

Venantius Fortunatus, A.D. 560, says: “St. Paul passed over the ocean to the Island of Britain, and to Thule, the extremity of the earth.” (Ireland) (Celtic Sabbath-Keeping Study No. 264, from Cherith Chronicle, April-June 1998, pp. 46-47. 6/24/06)

Thus, Aristobulus and/or others (like possibly Paul) came to the Isles well before “Patrick”.

The truth is that when they arrived, the Roman Catholics were unhappy to find a Christianity in the Isles that held to very non-Catholic beliefs (more on this is in the article The Pergamos Church Era ).

LCG’s Dr. Winnail wrote the following about Patrick and Ireland:

Facts vs. Fables

But what happened to the true Gospel that the Apostles brought to Europe’s western isles in the first century? How accurate are the widely accepted traditions that Patrick converted the Irish in the 400s and that Augustine brought Christianity to England in the 600s? When you dig beneath the surface of modern assumptions, you find scholars making very interesting admissions. Irish Catholic historians relate that “traditionally… Saint Patrick has been credited with converting the entire Irish race from paganism in the very short period between 432 and 461… however, we have to admit that there were certainly Christians in Ireland before Patrick arrived… and that the saint worked as an evangelist only in part of the island [the north]” (Walsh and Bradley, p. 1). Irish writer Liam de Paor states that “Ireland was not converted by one man [Patrick]… it may be that Christianity reached the west country [of Britain] and the southern Irish sea virtually independent of the Roman system, at a very early date… centuries before Patrick” (Paor, pp. 21, 23). There are traditions that the Apostle James preached the gospel in Ireland before returning to Jerusalem, where he was martyred (see MacManus, The Story of the Irish Race, p. 103). The widely accepted notion that Patrick first brought Christianity to Ireland is a fable—not a fact. Numerous historical sources state that the Apostles brought true Christianity to Ireland four centuries before Patrick!

The truth is that while Patrick probably worked to try to do what he felt was good, biblical Christianity had been to the British Isles before him.

Perhaps I should also add that many of those in Ireland, even centuries after Patrick, refused to observe Sunday, but instead observed Saturday as the Sabbath until an English Queen (Margaret) passed a law against it (the Irish also used to practice foot washing like Jesus and His early followers did, for details see Passover and the Early Church).

Hence, even after Patrick was in Ireland, many in Ireland resisted his changes from apostolic Christianity. That is what those who wish to be truly faithful in Ireland and elsewhere should do today.

Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day does not help that at all, as it encourages not only excessive alcohol consumption, but also blurs people’s abilities to realize that the religion of Patrick was not the true apostolic faith.  We in LCG do not celebrate it.

Those interested in the truth may wish to study the following articles:

Why The Living Church of God Does Not Wear Green on St. Patrick’s Day Should non-Catholics observe a Catholic holiday?
The History of Early Christianity Are you aware that what most people believe is not what truly happened to the true Christian church? Do you know where the early church was based? Do you know what were the doctrines of the early church? Is your faith really based upon the truth or compromise?
Which Is Faithful: The Roman Catholic Church or the Living Church of God? Do you know that both groups shared a lot of the earliest teachings? Do you know which church changed? Do you know which group is most faithful to the teachings of the apostolic church? Which group best represents true Christianity? This documented article answers those questions. Português: Qual é fiel: A igreja católica romana ou a igreja viva do deus? Tambien Español: Cuál es fiel: ¿La iglesia católica romana o La Iglesia del Dios Viviente? Auch: Deutsch: Welches zuverlässig ist: Die Römisch-katholische Kirche oder die lebende Kirche von Gott?
The Sabbath in the Early Church and Abroad Was the seventh-day (Saturday) Sabbath observed by the apostolic and post-apostolic Church?

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