Connecting Business – Growing Opportunities

Key lessons we can all take from St. Patrick in 2023

Although St. Patrick's Day initially started as a religious feast to celebrate Saint Patrick's work, in 1995 the Irish government began a national campaign to capitalise on interest in St. Patrick’s Day to drive tourism and showcase Ireland and Irish culture to the rest of the world. It is now unanimously known as a celebration of all things Irish.

In honour of the holiday on March 17th, we would like to provide our members with some insight into the day’s namesake. So, who is the patron saint of Ireland? Why is he celebrated? And what lessons can we learn from him even in 2023?

Who was Saint Patrick and why do we celebrate him?

Saint Patrick is one of the most widely known figures in the Christian faith. At 16, he was taken prisoner by a group of Irish raiders and spent the subsequent six years in captivity. Throughout this time, he worked outdoors as a shepherd, while his loneliness and fear turned him towards religious solace. It is also rumoured that Saint Patrick first dreamt of converting Irish people to Christianity during this time of solitude.

After six years of imprisonment, Saint Patrick escaped and began his religious training, which lasted roughly 15 years. Following his ordination as a priest, Patrick was sent to Ireland to minister to the current Christian population and convert other Irish people. 

Much of Saint Patrick’s success can be attributed to the methods he used. Because he was familiar with both the Irish language and culture, he was able to incorporate traditional ritual into his lessons of Christianity instead of attempting to eradicate native Irish beliefs. For instance, he used bonfires to celebrate Easter – knowing Irish people were accustomed to honouring their gods with fire. He also superimposed a sun, a powerful Irish symbol, onto the Christian cross to create what is now called a Celtic cross, so that reverence of the symbol would seem more natural to the Irish.  

He may be known as the patron saint of Ireland, but Patrick was never actually canonized by the Catholic Church.  After becoming a priest and helping to spread Christianity throughout Ireland, Patrick was likely proclaimed a saint by popular acclaim. And though Saint Patrick is largely celebrated for bringing Christianity to the country, there is more to be learned from his life.

Is his style of leadership still relevant today?

As St. Patrick’s Day has become increasingly secular, what lessons can we take away from the patron saint of Ireland’s life and legacy? 

  • Bringing values to life – In addition to the examples of his teaching methods above, Saint Patrick also famously used a shamrock to explain the Trinity, with its three leaves representing God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit, joined together by a common stalk. The symbol wasn’t a perfect representation but it was a good way to explain it to his audience. Saint Patrick’s examples made his ideas understandable and enabled his audience to embrace them.

  • Respectful communication - Saint Patrick was apparently not the most eloquent, however, he successfully reached and persuaded the people of Ireland through respect for and an appeal to their culture and customs.

  • Creating a movement – Ireland at the time was one of turbulence, with fighting and pillaging commonplace. Saint Patrick was preaching a different way of life that spoke to the values of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, and self-control. Saint Patrick not only preached his values but by living them, he also mobilised people into following suit.

How this is connected to our values at Causeway

At Causeway we also strive to bring our values to life through our events and celebrations of Irish and Scottish culture, creating opportunities for business professionals to connect and ultimately bring people together from both sides of the Irish sea. 

Equally, we strongly believe in the power of establishing a strong vision. Causeway’s is to support businesses looking to grow while facilitating strong economic and cultural connections between Scotland and the island of Ireland. 

With both of our co-chairs originally hailing from Ireland, we are proud of the mix of Scottish and Irish professionals that make up our management team. We believe in bringing businesses together by providing a forum to assist entrepreneurs and companies operating or seeking to operate in Ireland or Scotland.

If you are part of a Scottish, Irish or Northern Irish business and would like to participate in networking opportunities, join our well-connected network today.

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