On this day many of us think of shamrocks, leprechauns, or having to wear the color green so you do not get pinched. But who is the man behind this holiday? Was he the saint of legends in which he drove all the snakes from Ireland and taught the Trinity through the three-leaved shamrock? Or was he an average man who felt ill-equipped, but followed the Lord’s guidance and is now credited with spreading Christianity throughout Ireland?
While some details of Saint Patrick’s life cannot be determined with certainty, what is known is quite remarkable. Born in the late 4th century A.D., Saint Patrick was captured and taken to Ireland as a slave when he was 16 years old. He served his master, a Druid priest, for six years as a herdsman. Although he was not religious in his early life, his days as a slave were spent praying and drawing close to the Lord. One night in a dream he heard a voice saying he would soon escape and return home. He ran from his captivity, two hundred miles, to the place he had dreamt and a ship was waiting. After becoming lost with the crew for a time, Patrick was reunited with his family.
A second dream then came to him. In this dream a man named Victorious delivered a letter headed “The Voice of the Irish.” As Patrick read it, he heard their voices begging him to return to Ireland. He was deeply moved but having not been highly educated when he was young, Saint Patrick was reluctant to answer the call. However, his confidence in the Lord overcame his doubt. He studied, became a bishop, and journeyed back to the land in which he was enslaved. Although he lived in constant danger of martyrdom, Saint Patrick never again left Ireland. He traveled far and wide teaching, baptizing, praying for the lost, and thanking the Lord for having chosen him to be the instrument whereby multitudes who worshiped idols and unclean things had become followers of God.
Posted on Fri, March 15, 2019
by Kim Hayes