Tuesday, March 15, 2011

What About Saint Patrick?

Patrick was never "canonized" as a saint by Rome. 

He didn't drive out snakes from Ireland.  There were none there to begin with.

He wasn't a member of the Roman Catholic Church.  He wasn't even the first evangelist to Ireland, a man named Palladius was sent about five years prior.

Patrick wasn't Irish.  He was a British Celt from just northwest of Glasgow, Roman Britain.

His story is worth knowing, especially since we celebrate this holiday in his name.

As a teenage boy of 16yrs (about 405AD) he was captured in a raid.  This resulted in his becoming a slave in pagan Ireland.

His father and grandfather were followers of Christ, but he "knew not the true God."

Now, far from home, he clung to the religion he had ignored as a teenager.

As a slave, he was forced to tend his master's sheep in Ireland, spending six years in bondage.

He'd had a dream urging him to return home, which he did.  By this time, he was in his mid-40s.

Palladius hadn't been very successful in his mission to bring Christianity.  Now Patrick would return, not as a slave, but as a missionary bringing the Gospel of Christ throughout Ireland.  After three decades living with the Irish clan system, Patrick would convert the chiefs first.

Of course he wasn't solely responsible for converting the island, but he was quite successful.  To fifth-century Christians, Ireland was considered the "ends of the earth."

So, along with our green beer, silly hats, "Kiss Me" buttons, and our corned beef and cabbage, lets remember Patrick.  He was a servant of God, not afraid, and not ashamed.

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As long as I'm on this journey, rambling through life's exhilarating highs and trudging heavily amongst it's incapacitating lows, I might as well share whatever may be gleaned from my little bits of wisdom and my many missteps. No room for judgment from this broken mama. I'm writing from my heart: raw, open, messy, but saved. And I'm still thanking God!