Centuries ago, when Britain was ruled by Rome, there was a young boy named Patrick, who lived in Britain with his family. Although Patrick’s parents raised him as a Christian, he didn’t take their teachings seriously. He preferred to follow the sinful ways of the other youths.

Patrick continued in this way of life until one day he was captured by a band of marauders from Ireland, who made him go as a slave back to their own country. They forced him to live in poverty, misery and hunger, working as a shepherd and a swineherd.

Patrick missed Britain and his family, his heart would break. How could he have taken everything so much for granted? He began to pray, asking God to help him…asking for forgiveness. And the Lord heard his prayer, filling him with the fire of a new faith he had never known before. He was completely transformed. much so that he thought

One night, while Patrick was still in captivity, God showed him a way to escape from Ireland, and, after six years of slavery, he found his way back to Britain and his family.

From that time on, Patrick dedicated his life to God, eventually receiving Holy Orders. His life was now a continual quest for holiness and doing God’s will.

While Patrick was at prayer one night, he heard voices calling to him. An angel appeared to him with the message that the people of Ireland were asking for him to return to their country…to walk among them once more…this time, not as a captive, but as one sent by God.

Patrick saw God’s purpose in all that had gone on before, and immediately chose to return to Ireland. He was made bishop and was sent there to preach the Word of Christ.

In the early days, Patrick was in constant danger of persecution, but the fire that God had placed in his heart kindled throughout all of Ireland, and Patrick came to be regarded as an angel among men.

Now a saint, Patrick stands as a symbol of the Irish…of the special love of God that is theirs…of the unique destiny they claim…of the beloved place they will always have in God’s heart.


The Blessing of St. Patrick

May the road rise up to meet you and the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face and a rainbow guide your way. So ’til we meet again, may the Good Lord hold you in the palm of his hand


A St. Patrick’s Day Prayer

God, our Good and Loving Father, we thank you for the gift of faith. May we never take it for granted. Thank you for St. Patrick who is a great model of faith and love for us. May we, like Patrick, cherish our faith and gladly and courageously share it with others.

Amen

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