Understanding St.Patrick

Now that all the celebrating is over. I decided to learn about who St.Patrick really was. I never knew much about St Patrick, other than the fact that he was a missionary in Ireland!

Everything else I think of regarding St Patrick’s Day, revolves around what our modern culture does in celebrating this day. I see lots of green and lots of shamrock decorations. I see lots of people celebrate with green beer, counting on this to have a great time with their friends. I see that restaurants make Reuben’s, Corned Beef, Cabbage and Vegetables, one of my favorite meals.

Is this really the way St Patrick wanted to be remembered? In one of the programs I watched, it said that if St Patrick was here today and looking over one of the parades, he would shout out ” Stop!”

Three things stood out to me while learning about St Patrick’s life:

1. He prayed often

2. He was humble

3. He made the gospel relevant, and the language readable to those he reached.

On his Breastplate(Lorica), is written:

“Christ with me,

Christ before me,

Christ behind me,

Christ in me,

Christ beneath me,

Christ above me,

Christ on my right,

Christ on my left,

Christ when I lie down,

Christ when I sit down,

Christ when I arise,

Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,

Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,

Christ in every eye that sees me,

Christ in every ear that hears me”

This reminds me so much of the need to have Christ so much part of my life, that He is literally everywhere! And not only should He be part of my life everywhere, but so everyone can see this too! Everyone who hears me, everyone that is watching me, those who speak of me, speak of Christ being in that conversation and Christ is in the heart of those who think of me!

Maewyn Succat, known also as Patricius( St.Patrick), is called the “apostle to Ireland”, was born in 385 AD in Britannia and died on March 17, 461 AD in Saul, United Kingdom. He was buried on the church grounds where he established his first church in a barn. He ministered for twenty-nine years, baptized 120,000 and began 300 churches!

St Patrick as a teen, was not a follower of Christ. He was, in fact, considered an atheist for a time. In his late teens, he was kidnapped. He became a slave, and believed that God was chastising him for his lack of faith, so he turned to God in prayer!

He was sold as a slave and became a shepherd. He was very lonely and lost all hope of returning home.

It was during this difficult time, that he turned to God. He prayed as often as 100 times a day and as often at night! He sounds like quite a prayer warrior!

It was during this time, that his faith was strengthened and transformation began in his life.

The Irish had many rituals and legends. They were people of war and worshiped many gods.

They did not understand that there was only one God and that He loved them! St.Patrick taught them this! He also brought the hope of Easter Day( Christ’s Resurrection) to Ireland.

Patrick still wanted to return to his home, but he realized God had work for him to do among the people in Ireland. At one point though, some problems arose in his homeland and he was brought back with people from his past, many years before accusing him of something he did years ago. He searched his heart for quite some time and tried to resolve what others said he did. To me, this displays humility in that he tried to restore relationships and his relationship with God.

In his mission work, it is said that he worked with the Irish, teaching them truth about God in ways that they could understand best. He made truth relevant to the people he worked with. I also learned that he helped with making language more readable and easy to write instead of having difficulty with the Latin language.

In the future, St. Patrick’s Day will remind me of something different than seeing shamrocks, all green, drinking and snakes!

Some interesting facts:

Original St. Patrick’s Day color was blue, not green!

First St.Patrick’s Day Parade was in Boston, not Ireland!

Drinking is nowhere in St Patrick’s legacy!

No snakes in Ireland! ( part of an Irish legend)

St.Patrick’s story began in Britain, not Ireland!

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