There was a man called Patrick who was captured by Irish marauders and taken from his wealthy, comfortable life in Roman occupied Britain to live as a slave in Ireland. There he found faith in Jesus Christ and even though he managed to escape and return home, he obeyed God and returned to Ireland to evangelize to the lost. Patrick was a missionary.
Today he is traditionally called St. Patrick and considered the patron Saint of Ireland although he was never officially cannonized by the Roman Catholic Church. I like Patrick. I like to remember him and his love and service to God. I grew up observing St. Patrick's Day with my family and today I observe it with mine. I use it as a time to celebrate someone who gave his life to God.
I think one of the best children's books on the life of Patrick is Saint Patrick by Ann Tompert. This book focuses more on the facts that can be known about Patrick than the legends that have grown up around him. The illustrations are beautiful and capture the attention of young children. My 9 year old daughter reads it herself. If you only share one book with your children about Patrick, this is the one.
I'm currently reading "Let Me Die in Ireland" by David Bercot to see if I want to share it with my children. So far so good. Subtitled, "The True Story of Patrick" the author attempts to tell the story of Patrick using only facts gleaned from Patrick's autobiography embelished with details of life at the time Patrick lived. So far this is an excellent book. The gospel of Christ is presented as Patrick comes closer to God while a slave. The historical descriptions are accurate and manage to teach while entertaining.
We also spend this day in my family celebrating and learning about the Irish people. We listen to Irish music, check out parades online, and eat Irish food.
I hope you will spend some time tomorrow telling your children about Patrick and how he loved God enough to give up his own comfort to spread the gospel.