Friday, March 15, 2013

Who is Saint Patrick?

No matter what your beliefs may be regarding the Catholic Church or Saints, community calendars around the country, and the world, still fill up with celebrations that center around Saint Patrick’s day.  Who was Saint Patrick, though?  Surely St. Patrick was about more than wearing green and drinking Irish ale!  While the specific facts of his life still remain filled with uncertain legends about his life, the story of St. Patrick is none the less one of humility and courage.

At the age of 16 he was captured by Irish raiders who sold him into slavery in Ireland.  There he worked as a shepherd and suffered greatly due to his treatment.  This time of enslavement was a time of spiritual conversion for young St. Patrick, though.  At the age of 22 he escaped from slavery and he was consecrated a bishop at the age of 43.  In spite of his captivity in Ireland, God placed a great desire on his heart to return to Ireland to proclaim the good news of the Gospel.  With the protection of many kings, he was able to proclaim the good news and converted many pagans to Christianity. 

St. Patrick is known for constantly pushing believers to a deeper and greater holiness.  He urged women to be chaste and to give their lives to Christ.  He ordained numerous priests, divided the country into diocese, and also built monasteries.

In a country of pagans, and with fellow priests and missionaries doubting his ability to preach to and convert the residence of Ireland, St. Patrick was not swayed from his mission.  He showed great trust and great perseverance in pursuing a tall task, because he had faith that God alone had sent him on this journey.  What an inspiring example of living out God’s mission for your life in the face of great opposition and discouragement from others!

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