Friday, March 17, 2006
The Feast of St. Patrick. Who Was St. Patrick?

Optional Memorial (1969 Calendar): March 17
Double (1955 Calendar): March 17

Today the Church celebrates the life of one of my favorite saints - St. Patrick of Ireland.

St. Patrick was born around 370 AD in Scotland, and at the age of 16 he was kidnapped and sent as a slave in Ireland. St. Patrick was not a profoundly religious as a child, but in Ireland when he was sent to work as a shepherd, he began to pray. After six years of service and fervent prayer, St. Patrick received a dream where he was commanded to return to Britain. St. Patrick escaped Ireland and returned to Britain. In Britain, he entered the Catholic Church like his father and grandfather before him.

St. Patrick was ordained a priest by Saint Germanus in 432 and later a bishop. He later returned to Ireland to convert his people to Christianity. Pope Saint Celestine sent him to evangelize England, then Ireland. St. Patrick's chariot driver was Saint Odran, and Saint Jarlath was one of his students. He advocated against slavery, idolatry, sun worship, and paganism! Shortly after his death, slavery was abolish in Ireland!

Some reports claim he built between 300-600 churches and countless schools and hospitals. In his 33 years in Ireland, he converted nearly the entire country. He taught the Trinity by using a three-leaf clover. Because of his work, Ireland became know as the Land of Saints. St. Patrick died around 461 AD in Ireland, where he worked for years to evangelize.

Today is actually a holy day of obligation in Ireland, Bank Holiday Ireland, and Northern Ireland. Also see the Novena Prayer to St. Patrick.

There was a very beautiful prayer on St. Patrick's Breastplate:

Christ be with me,
Christ within me,
Christ behind me,
Christ before me,
Christ beside me,
Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort me and restore me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet,
Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.


O God, Who didst vouchsafe to send blessed Patrick, Thy Confessor and Bishop, to preach Thy glory to the nations: grant, by his merits and intercession, that whatever Thou commandest us to do, we may by Thy mercy be able to fulfill. Through our Lord.

Prayer Source: 1962 Roman Catholic Daily Missal


del_button March 17, 2006 at 11:06 AM
Alan said...

Happy St Patrick's!

del_button March 17, 2006 at 3:14 PM
Matthew said...

Happy St. Patrick's Day to you as well :)

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