Patrick: The Fact, Fiction, and Faith of Ireland’s Saint

Patrick: The Fact, Fiction, and Faith of Ireland’s Saint March 15, 2018

The Legacy

Deep faith—Visions and dreams played an important part in the spiritual life during Patrick’s time. He obeyed God’s call to return to the island on which he had been enslaved. He first repaid his slave price to his former captor, then confronted druids and royalty in dramatic fashion. God called him to preach and pray, serve and suffer, though he did not always feel worthy or able.

Evangelistic fervor—Patrick’s mission in life was to bring people to a saving faith in Jesus Christ. He spent over twenty years preparing and almost forty years evangelizing the lost people of Ireland.

Therefore, indeed, I cannot keep silent, nor would it be proper, so many favours and graces has the Lord deigned to bestow on me in the land of my captivity. For after chastisement from God, and recognizing him, our way to repay him is to exalt him and confess his wonders before every nation under heaven.

I am greatly God’s debtor, because he granted me so much grace, that through me many people would be reborn in God, and soon after confirmed, and that clergy would be ordained everywhere for them, the masses lately come to belief, whom the Lord drew from the ends of the earth. . .

Love for God—Indeed, everything Patrick did—each journey, each task, each sermon, each prayer—sprang from an all-consuming devotion to Jesus. He considered Christ as his savior (spiritually), his rescuer (literally), his redeemer, his leader.

So as you read about, or take part in, your local St. Paddy’s Day celebrations, reflect on the life of Patrick, Roman by birth but Irish by the grace of God. Wear some green, thank God for your blessings, and tell someone about Jesus, and meditate on this prayer:

Patrick’s Breastplate

“Christ be within me, Christ behind me, Christ before me, Christ beside me,

Christ to win me, Christ to comfort and restore me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,

Christ inquired, Christ in danger, Christ in hearts of all that love me, Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.”

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