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The Blessed Trinity

Click here for the daily devotion for March 17, 2018


My late friend Joan wasn’t much of a gardener. She used to say that not only weren’t her thumbs green but none of her other fingers were, either! Despite that (or maybe because of it), every March she liked to give someone a small potted shamrock plant. Sometimes the recipient was a teacher who’d done something special for Joan’s daughter, who struggled with learning disabilities. Other times, it might be a lonely resident in a nursing home. One March, when I was going through a difficult divorce, it was me. That plant is now huge and thriving.

Tradition has it that Saint Patrick used the shamrock’s three leaves to symbolize the Holy Trinity as he brought Christianity to the Irish. Though Joan liked that story, she had a slightly different take on the shamrock shape. “I think the three leaves stand for faith, hope and love,” she said.

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Joan died of brain cancer last spring. She won’t be giving any more shamrock plants. But I’ll pick up the tradition every March, in memory of my dear friend.

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