The other day I saw a snarky comment about the legend of St Patrick casting all the snakes out of Ireland: “Thing is” said snarker “Ireland never had any snakes anyway. The climate is too damp and cold. Duh.”
Duh indeed. The legend was never about snakes anyway. It was about serpents–meaning Satan and the demons. Hearing this legend and coming up with such a snarky comment is about as smart as reading the poem and saying, “That’s dumb. My love isn’t like a red, red, rose. I mean, she doesn’t even have thorns!”
Patrick went as a missionary to pagan Ireland in the fifth century. The pagan druids featured serpents in their worship and were tattooed with serpents. Furthermore, the serpent, in many pagan nature religions, is the symbol of the “earth powers”. To put it bluntly, Patrick was an effective exorcist. He drove out the pagan religions and with it drove out the Great Serpent Satan, and no doubt delivered many from the bondage of demon possession through preaching the gospel, baptizing and conquering evil.
This same power is necessary today. As our own society drifts into paganism, idolatry and decadence an increasing number of people will be infected with the demonic or even completely possessed. The Catholic Church will emerge increasingly as a force against the power of Satan. As it does, it those who believe in this power and believe in our destiny as opponents of supernatural evil will emerge as one Catholic Church. Along with this rise in this “opponents of evil” church there will be the continued rise of the false Catholic Church–the church that panders to the ways of the world, portrays itself as nothing more than a religious group of do gooders who are trying to teach the world to sing inperfect harmony and who are compromising with the world on every turn in a vain attempt to avoid conflict and curry popularity.
St Patrick pray for us.