How St. Patrick invented branding

POSTED BY Gillian O'Connell on Mar 18, 2008

The story of how St Patrick invented branding is well known to any Irish school child, but my consumer research (conducted in an Irish bar over the course of many hours yesterday) has revealed that the legend hasn’t quite made it to North America. It’s well-known that St. Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland because he brought Christianity to the previously pagan land. He travelled around the country, explaining to the good people of Ireland about the Christian god, and in particular, tried to explain to them the concept of the holy trinity. This fundamental precept of Christianity suggests that there are three persons contained within one god – the father, the son, and the holy spirit. This concept hurt the heads of the good people of Ireland… they couldn’t quite imagine how one god could also be three gods. And so when St. Patrick was preaching this idea to a group of puzzled peasants one day, he saw some shamrock growing at his feet, and reached down and plucked it and waved it under the noses of the peasants. He showed them that the shamrock is made up of three leaves, and described to them that, just as a shamrock has three leaves, but is one plant, so a god can be one god, but comprise three persons.

WRITTEN BY Gillian O'Connell

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