SATURDAY March 17, 2018
St. Patrick’s Day
“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…”
Patrick was born into a Christian family in England, but had no interest in the church. As a youth, he was captured by slave traders and taken to Ireland. It was a place filled with magicians and pagan practices, the people were in spiritual darkness. He believed God was chastening him because he was among those who had turned away from God. So, he would pray night and day to the Lord. In Ireland, through trials and suffering, Patrick came to know Christ personally.
Finally, Patrick escaped and found a ship that carried him back home. He began to study for ministry when, in a vision, God called him to return to Ireland to preach to the people who had enslaved him. He traveled across the Irish countryside bringing the Gospel to the hostile, pagan Celts. Patrick wrote a poem of faith and trust in God, which he named the Breast Plate:
Christ be within me, Christ behind me, Christ before me, Christ beside me, Christ to win me, Christ to comfort and restore me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ inquired, Christ in danger, Christ in hearts of all that love me, Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.
Patrick brought the light of Christ into the spiritual darkness of Ireland.
In obedience to God’s call to go to Ireland, he was able to plant 300 churches, and 120,000 Irishmen were saved and baptized into the Christian faith. By faithfully preaching the Gospel, he laid a good foundation for Christianity. His ministry lasted 29 years. As the “Apostle of Ireland,” he lit such a fire there.
Hence I cannot be silent, and indeed I ought not to be, about the many blessings and the great grace which the Lord has deigned
to bestow upon me.