Happy St. Patrick’s Day

A day to remember that even Europeans were evangelized by missionaries. So honor, pray for, and give money to missionaries today.

Also, salute the Irish for saving civilization by preserving books, keeping learning alive, and converting the barbarians. Thus bringing the Dark Ages to an end and ushering in the Middle Ages. (Note: Do NOT confuse the Dark Ages with the Middle Ages. The Middle Ages were the end of the Dark Ages, which began with the Fall of Rome.)

Some say that we have entered a new Dark Age, another time of social breakdown with a new kind of barbarism. If that is so, how can we do today what St. Patrick and the Irish did back then, namely, save civilization?

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Winston Smith

    I very much like the idea of associating St. Patrick’s Day with missionaries and the preservation of learning, as opposed to wearing green plastic hats and doing ten shots of Bushmill’s before lunchtime.

  • Winston Smith

    I very much like the idea of associating St. Patrick’s Day with missionaries and the preservation of learning, as opposed to wearing green plastic hats and doing ten shots of Bushmill’s before lunchtime.

  • http://womanofthehouse-blog.blogspot.com/ womanofthehouse

    Homeschool your kids and teach them the Great Books and Great Ideas. Or send them to a school that does. That’s one very important way to save civilization.

  • http://womanofthehouse-blog.blogspot.com/ womanofthehouse

    Homeschool your kids and teach them the Great Books and Great Ideas. Or send them to a school that does. That’s one very important way to save civilization.

  • http://www.ninjapastor.blogspot.com Matthew Christians

    I’m all right with the green hats… it’s all in good fun. (although I don’t even know what Bushmill’s is :)

    As we think about St. Patrick, I’m given to understand that not only did Patrick evangelize the native Irish… but he took on the druids (symbolized by the snake, hence the legend of St. Patrick driving out the snakes from Ireland). So instead of quietly going about speaking of Christ whenever we are approached by a seeker, maybe we should be more proactive- should actually speaking out against paganism and today’s relativistic post-modernism be part of our remembrance of good ol’ St. Pat? Just thinking out loud.

  • http://www.ninjapastor.blogspot.com Matthew Christians

    I’m all right with the green hats… it’s all in good fun. (although I don’t even know what Bushmill’s is :)

    As we think about St. Patrick, I’m given to understand that not only did Patrick evangelize the native Irish… but he took on the druids (symbolized by the snake, hence the legend of St. Patrick driving out the snakes from Ireland). So instead of quietly going about speaking of Christ whenever we are approached by a seeker, maybe we should be more proactive- should actually speaking out against paganism and today’s relativistic post-modernism be part of our remembrance of good ol’ St. Pat? Just thinking out loud.

  • Tickletext

    Let us remember St. Patrick’s Breastplate:

    Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
    Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
    Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
    Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down, Christ when I arise,
    Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
    Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
    Christ in every eye that sees me,
    Christ in every ear that hears me.

    I arise today

    Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
    Through belief in the threeness,
    Through confession of the oneness,
    Of the Creator of Creation.

  • Tickletext

    Let us remember St. Patrick’s Breastplate:

    Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
    Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
    Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
    Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down, Christ when I arise,
    Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
    Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
    Christ in every eye that sees me,
    Christ in every ear that hears me.

    I arise today

    Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
    Through belief in the threeness,
    Through confession of the oneness,
    Of the Creator of Creation.

  • Brenda

    I am with Womanofthehouse. Homeschool your kids. Read the great literature, play the best of music, help your kids understand where they are in history, cram as much Latin into their brains starting at about age 9/10. Keep them in church. Don’t over do the peer to peer time. Have whole families over for “play dates”. Sing together as a family…Memorize together as a family. I could go on and on ….

    `

  • Brenda

    I am with Womanofthehouse. Homeschool your kids. Read the great literature, play the best of music, help your kids understand where they are in history, cram as much Latin into their brains starting at about age 9/10. Keep them in church. Don’t over do the peer to peer time. Have whole families over for “play dates”. Sing together as a family…Memorize together as a family. I could go on and on ….

    `

  • Brenda

    Forgot… When you run out of your own kids to launch, look for other ways to interact with kids ot their parents!…volunteer, or find a way to share your knowledge.

  • Brenda

    Forgot… When you run out of your own kids to launch, look for other ways to interact with kids ot their parents!…volunteer, or find a way to share your knowledge.

  • kerner

    My son has told, and retold a story of a conversation he had with an Irishman who was completely offended by the American celebration of St. Patrick’s Day. According to my son, this Irishman was most offended by the bars opening early. He said that, on St. Patrick’s Day morning, Irishmen go to church. It is, after all, the festival of their patron saint, and comemorates the conversion of the Irish to Christianity. The pubs don’t open till their normal time, which is apparently 4:00 P.M. And while the Irish do celebrate in the pubs on St. Patrick’s Day evening, it isn’t the wild time it is here.

    Has anyone else further information about St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland? I’d like to know more about how the Irish see St. patrick’s Day.

  • kerner

    My son has told, and retold a story of a conversation he had with an Irishman who was completely offended by the American celebration of St. Patrick’s Day. According to my son, this Irishman was most offended by the bars opening early. He said that, on St. Patrick’s Day morning, Irishmen go to church. It is, after all, the festival of their patron saint, and comemorates the conversion of the Irish to Christianity. The pubs don’t open till their normal time, which is apparently 4:00 P.M. And while the Irish do celebrate in the pubs on St. Patrick’s Day evening, it isn’t the wild time it is here.

    Has anyone else further information about St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland? I’d like to know more about how the Irish see St. patrick’s Day.

  • Terry

    Your Irish friend is right; St Patrick’s Day is much more widely celebrated in the US than in Ireland- it is similar to Cinco de Mayo for Mexican-Americans. St Patrick’s Day was a day for those of Irish heritage to remember the mother country even while being so far away….the festivities today have obviously taken a different direction, and not always for the better:-( I like to make a pot of potato leek soup, raise a pint of Guinness, and re-read “How the Irish Saved Civilization” by Thomas Cahill….oh, and do some ceili dancin’ as well:-)

  • Terry

    Your Irish friend is right; St Patrick’s Day is much more widely celebrated in the US than in Ireland- it is similar to Cinco de Mayo for Mexican-Americans. St Patrick’s Day was a day for those of Irish heritage to remember the mother country even while being so far away….the festivities today have obviously taken a different direction, and not always for the better:-( I like to make a pot of potato leek soup, raise a pint of Guinness, and re-read “How the Irish Saved Civilization” by Thomas Cahill….oh, and do some ceili dancin’ as well:-)

  • http://RoseFremer@yahoo.com Rose

    We can encourage the Irish to relight St Patrick’s Fire on Slane Hill. “If that fire is not quenched it will burn for ever, and it will overcome all the fires of our (pagan) religion.”–King Laoghaire, 433 A.D.

  • http://RoseFremer@yahoo.com Rose

    We can encourage the Irish to relight St Patrick’s Fire on Slane Hill. “If that fire is not quenched it will burn for ever, and it will overcome all the fires of our (pagan) religion.”–King Laoghaire, 433 A.D.

  • Joe

    I think that the American celebration of St. Patrick’s Day is just stupid. But I would not let the folks back in Ireland off so easily. A good friend spent a semester in Dublin. His reports of St. Patrick’s Day are on par with what happens here in the States.

  • Joe

    I think that the American celebration of St. Patrick’s Day is just stupid. But I would not let the folks back in Ireland off so easily. A good friend spent a semester in Dublin. His reports of St. Patrick’s Day are on par with what happens here in the States.

  • http://mesamike.org Mike Westfall

    Thanks to St. Patrick for driving the snakes out of Ireland. Unfortunately, they seem to have been driven into the pulpits of “evangelical” churches.

  • http://mesamike.org Mike Westfall

    Thanks to St. Patrick for driving the snakes out of Ireland. Unfortunately, they seem to have been driven into the pulpits of “evangelical” churches.

  • http://prschroeder.wordpress.com/page/2/ Mark

    I don’ t know about saving civilization but it sure seems that taking a page from St. Patrick (and many other saints) who preached to the pagans might be a start. And as Patrick wrote in his Confession regarding Holy Baptism as a missionary bishop:

    From his confession: “For I am very much God’s debtor, who gave me such grace that many people were reborn in God through me and afterwards confirmed, and that clerics were ordained for them everywhere, for a people just coming to the faith, whom the Lord took from the utmost parts of the earth, as He once had promised through His prophets: To Thee the gentiles shall come from the ends of the earth and shall say: `How false are the idols that our fathers got for themselves, and there is no profit in them’; and again: `I have set Thee as a light among the gentiles, that Thou mayest be for salvation unto the utmost part of the earth.’ “

  • http://prschroeder.wordpress.com/page/2/ Mark

    I don’ t know about saving civilization but it sure seems that taking a page from St. Patrick (and many other saints) who preached to the pagans might be a start. And as Patrick wrote in his Confession regarding Holy Baptism as a missionary bishop:

    From his confession: “For I am very much God’s debtor, who gave me such grace that many people were reborn in God through me and afterwards confirmed, and that clerics were ordained for them everywhere, for a people just coming to the faith, whom the Lord took from the utmost parts of the earth, as He once had promised through His prophets: To Thee the gentiles shall come from the ends of the earth and shall say: `How false are the idols that our fathers got for themselves, and there is no profit in them’; and again: `I have set Thee as a light among the gentiles, that Thou mayest be for salvation unto the utmost part of the earth.’ “

  • Lance Armstrong O’Donnell

    I was re-reading Patrick’s “Confession” this morning and, per your last question, it is good to remember that Patrick didn’t set out to “save civilization.” His first concern was for the souls of the people who had once been his captors. Responding to God’s providential care during the years of his slavery, Patrick writes, “In fact, [God] protected me and comforted me as a father would his son. I cannot be silent then, nor indeed should I, about the great benefits and grace which the Lord saw fit to confer on me in the land of my captivity. This is the way we thank God for correcting us and taking notice of us: we honour and praise his wonders before every nation under heaven.” (Patrick in His Own Words by Joseph Duffy, pp.12-13)

    Patrick, like Paul just over 300 years before him, returned to the people who once mistreated him because “the love of Christ compelled him.” (2 Cor 5.14) This is the great heritage of St. Patrick. If Christians attend to that, then let us see what God will do…

  • Lance Armstrong O’Donnell

    I was re-reading Patrick’s “Confession” this morning and, per your last question, it is good to remember that Patrick didn’t set out to “save civilization.” His first concern was for the souls of the people who had once been his captors. Responding to God’s providential care during the years of his slavery, Patrick writes, “In fact, [God] protected me and comforted me as a father would his son. I cannot be silent then, nor indeed should I, about the great benefits and grace which the Lord saw fit to confer on me in the land of my captivity. This is the way we thank God for correcting us and taking notice of us: we honour and praise his wonders before every nation under heaven.” (Patrick in His Own Words by Joseph Duffy, pp.12-13)

    Patrick, like Paul just over 300 years before him, returned to the people who once mistreated him because “the love of Christ compelled him.” (2 Cor 5.14) This is the great heritage of St. Patrick. If Christians attend to that, then let us see what God will do…

  • http://bethanylc.org Rev. C. D. Trouten

    Teach Latin. It not only gives students access to the foundational books of great learning, it also trains their minds to think more clearly, or at least trains their tongues to speak more clearly.

  • http://bethanylc.org Rev. C. D. Trouten

    Teach Latin. It not only gives students access to the foundational books of great learning, it also trains their minds to think more clearly, or at least trains their tongues to speak more clearly.

  • John C

    Government is not the problem.
    A belief that ‘government is the problem’ is the problem.
    Engage in some nation building — pass the health bill, spend some money on public education, create a national curriculm and set some national benchmarks. Invest in social capital.
    And while I’m in a fanciful mood, eliminate the states.
    .

  • John C

    Government is not the problem.
    A belief that ‘government is the problem’ is the problem.
    Engage in some nation building — pass the health bill, spend some money on public education, create a national curriculm and set some national benchmarks. Invest in social capital.
    And while I’m in a fanciful mood, eliminate the states.
    .

  • fws

    focus on being a good citizen and do good works that benefit one´s neighbor just like the pagans also should do. Your neighbor urgently needs you to do this, and you should be certain that God is pleased when you do this.

    then when you fail, be grateful that your works and the things of the world will all perish, along with those who seek their life there, and go to church to find your real life eternal.

    Hot news flash: the world HAS been saved. The victory has been won. Alleuia!

    so relax. enjoy life. live your life for others.

  • fws

    focus on being a good citizen and do good works that benefit one´s neighbor just like the pagans also should do. Your neighbor urgently needs you to do this, and you should be certain that God is pleased when you do this.

    then when you fail, be grateful that your works and the things of the world will all perish, along with those who seek their life there, and go to church to find your real life eternal.

    Hot news flash: the world HAS been saved. The victory has been won. Alleuia!

    so relax. enjoy life. live your life for others.

  • Trey

    @John C #15

    Yeah and give them our guns and burn the Constitution? You mean spend other peoples money. Further support the secular propaganda machine (public schools). Destroy the USA. Promote China as the global power. Take away our rights to protest. Eliminate democracy. All for what? So you don’t have to be responsible for yourself. Perhaps we should call your philosophy return to the dark ages/monarch/1775.

  • Trey

    @John C #15

    Yeah and give them our guns and burn the Constitution? You mean spend other peoples money. Further support the secular propaganda machine (public schools). Destroy the USA. Promote China as the global power. Take away our rights to protest. Eliminate democracy. All for what? So you don’t have to be responsible for yourself. Perhaps we should call your philosophy return to the dark ages/monarch/1775.


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