Object of the Week

Napkin (Date Unknown)

March 17th is St. Patrick’s Day. For much of the world, the holiday is a religious one, celebrating the life and works of Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. Born in Great Britain, he was said to be kidnapped as a young man by Irish raiders and was enslaved in Ireland for many years. Upon his return to home, Patrick became a priest and voluntarily returned to Ireland, working there to convert the pagan Irish people to Christianity. Thus, the celebration of the saint has become an important one in Ireland. Though the holiday is not an official one in America, it is still widely celebrated by many due to America’s large Irish-American population. In America, it is less of a religious holiday, and more of a celebration and recognition of Ireland and Irish culture.

This napkin features a simple three-leaf clover (also known as a shamrock) design, which has become a highly recognized symbol of St. Patrick’s Day. Though it is mostly used for decorative and symbolic purposes in America, it has been said that Saint Patrick used the clover symbolically himself. Supposedly, he used the three-leaf clover to symbolize the Holy Trinity of God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Because the shamrock is widely used as a signifier of St. Patrick’s Day, it can be assumed that this napkin was probably used to help celebrate the occasion. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!










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