Skip to comments.Patricius: The True Story of St. Patrick
Posted on 03/17/2016 4:56:31 AM PDT by 2banana
Patricius: The True Story of St. Patrick
Before all the festivities focused on shamrocks and leprechauns and good luck wishes, there was truly something to celebrate: a man willing to stand in the gap for Jesus Christ.
It was an act of defiance that changed the course of a nation. Patrick lit a fire in pagan 5th century Ireland, ushering Christianity into the country. Who was this man who became the patron saint of Ireland?
Ireland was a beautiful island shrouded in terrible darkness. Warlords and druids ruled the land. But across the sea in Britain, a teen-ager was poised to bring this nation to God.
"Patrick was born into a Christian family," says Philip Freeman, author of St. Patrick of Ireland. "His father was a deacon; his grandfather a priest. But Patrick says that from an early age, he didn't have any serious interest in religion and that he was pratically an atheist when he was a teenager."
Around 400 A.D., Patrick was abducted from his village and thrown onto a slave ship headed for Ireland.
Patrick was sold to a chieftain named Milchu. He spent six years tending his master's flocks on the slopes of the Slemish Mountain. Patrick recounts his time as a slave in his memoir entitled The Confession.
"He says, 'I prayed a hundred times in the day and almost as many at night,' " says Rev. Brady, the Roman Catholic Archbiship of Armagh and Primate of All of Ireland. "Through that experience of prayer and trial, he came to know another God -- God the Father, who was his protector. He came to know Jesus Christ in those sufferings, and he came to be united with Christ and he came to identify with Christ, and then of course, also the Holy Spirit."
One night during a time of prayer and fasting, Patrick wrote: "I heard in my sleep a voice saying to me: 'It is well that you fast. Soon you will go to your own country.' And again, after a short while, I heard a voice saying to me: 'See, your ship is ready.' "
Patrick eventually returned to his home and family. His experience of God's grace and provision solidified his faith. He began to study for the ministry.
Patrick struggled in his soul. Could he return to Ireland and minister to the same people who had enslaved him? Once again, he turned to God in prayer. He received the answer in a dream.
"He talks about how he, in this dream, is trying to pray and yet he can't," says Freeman. "So he hears a voice coming from inside of him which he realizes is the voice of God praying for him."
Patrick knew he had to go and convince his church that he was called to be a missionary to Ireland. He set sail in a small ship.
Patrick landed at the mouth of the Slaney River. When Patrick set foot on this shore, a new era dawned on this island.
"The Ireland of his day really wasn't much different from the Ireland of a few years ago here where we are sitting here at this moment," notes Most Reverend Dr. Robert Eames, Church of England Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of all Ireland. "It was an Ireland of tribalism, an Ireland of war, an Ireland of suspicion, an Ireland of violence and death. Here he came as a virtual stranger to this country of warring factions."
"They worshipped multiple gods of the sky and the earth and the water," says Freeman. "And so that was his first challenge: to convince the Irish that there was only one God and that his God really did love them."
Patrick came face to face with the chieftains and their druid priests. The showdown came on the morning of his first Easter in Ireland.
The weather can be absolutely brutal here in Ireland. But just imagine how it must've been for Patrick in the 5th century as he trekked across the countryside bringing the Gospel to the pagan Celts.
"People sometimes made fun of him because he said that God often gave him a message there was danger ahead," says Freeman. "But, he said, 'Laugh at me if you will. This is something that has protected me in Ireland.'"
In 432 A.D., Patrick built a church on the site of the present day St. Patrick's Memorial Church in Saul -- the first ever Christian church in all of Ireland. It's considered the cradle of Irish Christianity.
"Preaching the Gospel, of course, baptizing converts, confirming them, appointing clergy," continues Calvert.
Patrick's ministry lasted 29 years. He baptized over 120,000 Irishmen and planted 300 churches.
To this day, no one knows where Patrick is buried, but many believe that it is somewhere beneath the church on the hill at Down Cathedral.
Rev. Sean Brady concludes, "He was a man who came to face and help his former enemies who had enslaved him. He came back to help them and to do them a great favor -- the greatest favor he possibly could."
An amazing story.
Thank you for posting this. For all the green beers I’ve consumed, I never had a clue what the real story was. Cheers!
sláinte mhaith to all and God bless.
Thanks for posting this 2banana. Much appreciated.
St Patrick needs to be recalled to explain the Trinity to the Islamics. As I understand it, at least some of them consider Christians heretics not (just) because they don’t worship the Islamic god, but because the Islamics believe Christians worship three separate Gods. The bit with the Shamrock might be simple enough for them to understand.
There are alot of similarities to what was going on in Ireland to the islamio world today...
Thanks for posting this!
For all Ireland, wear orange whilst drinking that green beer.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.