St. Patrick, son of a deacon, grandson of a priest, was captured at the age of sixteen. He was taken from his country Britain to serve as a shepherd in Ireland, then hostile to Catholics. While captive, he prayed all day long.
Escape and Return
After hearing a voice that told him when and where to escape to, he reached his homeland six years later. But a few years after that, he received a vision in which he heard the Irish people calling him back. In this same vision a man handed him a letter with the heading: "The Voice of the Irish." He became a priest and finally fulllfilled his mission to return to Ireland at the age of 40. (See Saint Patrick on Wikipedia the free Encyclopedia)
St. Patrick's Character
St. Patrick was known to be extremely humble. Also, because he did not consider himself to be an educated person, he often hesitated to write. When speaking to the Irish, he regarded himself a stone in the the mud. But far from being of weak character, St. Patrick fearlessly spoke out against anything and anyone who undermined the Truth of the Faith and the dignity of the people. And he was very vocal against slavery. He even rebuked some Christians who wanted to kill pagans, and taught them to use more humane approaches to win them over. St. Patrick was very successful because he was genuinely holy, and although not well-educated, he was well-versed and well-rooted in Scripture. (Courtesy of Chris Stefanick, websites http://www.deadtheologianssociety.com/ and http://www.chris-stefanick.com/)
His End on Earth
Because of his daring communications, every day he expected to be murdered, betrayed or enslaved. Yet he did not shy away from proclaiming the truth of the Gospel and advocating for the rights of the people because he deemed it honorable- even desirable to die a martyr. Nevertheless, he died an old man on this day, March 17, in the year 493 AD.
The best way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day is to emulate dear old St. Pat. We must arm ourselves with courage and speak out against anything or anyone that undermines the Truth of the Gospel, that seeks to take away the rights God gave to each human from conception to old age, or that would undermine the dignity of each human being. And to achieve this, we must also emulate his humility, courage, and love for Scripture. Happy St. Patrick's Day.
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