Today is a special day! Aside from its my birthday today (ahem) :), today is also the feast day of my favorite Saint Patrick.
In Ireland, today is a big celebration for them since St. Patrick is their “apostle” who taught them the Christian faith.When I was a child, I started reading about him since I thought that would be right and because he’s the saint on my birthday. Well, he is a famous saint, loved and adored by many. I remember one legend connected with him. The legend was about Ireland having no snake since he was the one who made them leave the place. As a young boy, that was a cool legend for me. He is also known as the man who made the shamrock leaf famous to the Irish and to the whole world. He used a three-leaf shamrock to teach about the Holy Trinity.
To know him more, read the short story about him here.
Patrick may have been born in Dunbarton, Scotland, Cumberland, England, or in northern Wales. He called himself both a Roman and a Briton. At 16, he and a large number of his father’s slaves and vassals were captured by Irish raiders and sold as slaves in Ireland. Forced to work as a shepherd, he suffered greatly from hunger and cold.
After six years, Patrick escaped, probably to France, and later returned to Britain at the age of 22. His captivity had meant spiritual conversion. He may have studied at Lerins, off the French coast; he spent years at Auxerre, France, and was consecrated bishop at the age of 43. His great desire was to proclaim the Good News to the Irish.
In a dream vision it seemed “all the children of Ireland from their mothers’ wombs were stretching out their hands” to him. He understood the vision to be a call to do mission work in pagan Ireland. Despite opposition from those who felt his education had been defective, he was sent to carry out the task. He went to the west and north, where the faith had never been preached, obtained the protection of local kings and made numerous converts.
He suffered much opposition from pagan druids, and was criticized in both England and Ireland for the way he conducted his mission.
St. Patrick was a man of action, heeding the call of Jesus to do a mission in a far away land. His faith was as solid as rock. He never gave up even when he was being criticized. Some people did not believe in him because he never had good education. Yet, at the end of his life, his sufferings and sacrifices turned to into a great gift to the Irish Christian Church.