Skip to comments.Apostle to the Irish (Who is the REAL St. Patrick ?)
Posted on 03/17/2010 12:58:48 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
If you ask people who Saint Patrick was, you're likely to hear that he was an Irishman who chased the snakes out of Ireland.
It may surprise you to learn that the real Saint Patrick was not actually Irishyet his robust faith changed the Emerald Isle forever.
Patrick was born in Roman Britain to a middle-class family in about A.D. 390. When Patrick was a teenager, marauding Irish raiders attacked his home. Patrick was captured, taken to Ireland, and sold to an Irish king, who put him to work as a shepherd.
In his excellent book, How the Irish Saved Civilization, Thomas Cahill describes the life Patrick lived. Cahill writes, "The work of such slave-shepherds was bitterly isolated, months at a time spent alone in the hills."
Patrick had been raised in a Christian home, but he didn't really believe in God. But nowhungry, lonely, frightened, and bitterly coldPatrick began seeking out a relationship with his heavenly Father. As he wrote in his Confession, "I would pray constantly during the daylight hours" and "the love of God . . . surrounded me more and more."
Six years after his capture, God spoke to Patrick in a dream, saying, "Your hungers are rewarded. You are going home. Lookyour ship is ready."
What a startling command! If he obeyed, Patrick would become a fugitive slave, constantly in danger of capture and punishment. But he did obeyand God protected him. The young slave walked nearly two hundred miles to the Irish coast. There he boarded a waiting ship and traveled back to Britain and his family.
But, as you might expect, Patrick was a different person now, and the restless young man could not settle back into his old life. Eventually, Patrick recognized that God was calling him to enter a monastery. In time, he was ordained as a priest, then as a bishop.
Finallythirty years after God had led Patrick away from IrelandHe called him back to the Emerald Isle as a missionary.
The Irish of the fifth century were a pagan, violent, and barbaric people. Human sacrifice was commonplace. Patrick understood the danger and wrote: "I am ready to be murdered, betrayed, enslavedwhatever may come my way."
Cahill notes that Patrick's love for the Irish "shines through his writings . . . He [worried] constantly for his people, not just for their spiritual but for their physical welfare."
Through Patrick, God converted thousands. Cahill writes, "Only this former slave had the right instincts to impart to the Irish a New Story, one that made sense of all their old stories and brought them a peace they had never known before." Because of Patrick, a warrior people "lay down the swords of battle, flung away the knives of sacrifice, and cast away the chains of slavery."
As it is with many Christian holidays, Saint Patrick's Day has lost much of its original meaning. Instead of settling for parades, cardboard leprechauns, and "the wearing of the green," we ought to recover our Christian heritage, celebrate the great evangelist, and teach our kids about this Christian hero.
Saint Patrick didn't chase the snakes out of Ireland, as many believe. Instead, the Lord used him to bring into Ireland a sturdy faith in the one true Godand to forever transform the Irish people.
A religious tradition not based on fact?
Now that’s a miracle.
Excerpt from “Patrick’s Confession”
“I, Patrick, a sinner, a most simple countryman, the least of all the faithful and most contemptible to many, had for father the deacon Calpurnius, son of the late Potitus, a presbyter, of the settlement of Bannaven Taburniae; he had a small villa nearby where I was taken captive. I was at that time about sixteen years of age. I did not, indeed, know the true God; and I was taken into captivity in Ireland with many thousands of people, according to our deserts, for quite drawn away from God, we did not keep his precepts, nor were we obedient to our presbyters who used to remind us of our salvation. And the Lord brought down on us the fury of his being and scattered us among many nations, even to the ends of the earth, where I, in my smallness, am now to be found among foreigners.
“And there the Lord opened my mind to an awareness of my unbelief, in order that, even so late, I might remember my transgressions and turn with all my heart to the Lord my God, who had regard for my insignificance and pitied my youth and ignorance. And he watched over me before I knew him, and before I learned sense or even distinguished between good and evil, and he protected me, and consoled me as a father would his son.
“Therefore, indeed, I cannot keep silent, nor would it be proper, so many favours and graces has the Lord deigned to bestow on me in the land of my captivity. For after chastisement from God, and recognizing him, our way to repay him is to exalt him and confess his wonders before every nation under heaven.
“For there is no other God, nor ever was before, nor shall be hereafter, but God the Father, unbegotten and without beginning, in whom all things began, whose are all things, as we have been taught; and his son Jesus Christ, who manifestly always existed with the Father, before the beginning of time in the spirit with the Father, indescribably begotten before all things, and all things visible and invisible were made by him. He was made man, conquered death and was received into Heaven, to the Father who gave him all power over every name in Heaven and on Earth and in Hell, so that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord and God, in whom we believe. And we look to his imminent coming again, the judge of the living and the dead, who will render to each according to his deeds. And he poured out his Holy Spirit on us in abundance, the gift and pledge of immortality, which makes the believers and the obedient into sons of God and co-heirs of Christ who is revealed, and we worship one God in the Trinity of holy name.”
Geez, not another Patrick was a Baptist thread! ;)
We most definitely claim him and he is ours. We don’t mind the Eastern Orthodox laying claim to him too, however. Nobody else has anything like a valid claim - especially Protestants.
I think Colson is being very generous here. I remember seeing that great bigot Pat Robertson air a segment on his TV program talking about the coming of Christianity to Ireland. “Oh,” I thought to myself, “he’s going to have something on St. Patrick. How cool!” Nope. The segment was about hos Methodists brought the gospel to Ireland for the first time in its history (in the 18th century!!!!). I couldn’t believe it. What an idiotic bigot!
“I don’t know how anyone can “claim” a person as their own.”
Perhaps you do not understand the communion of saints well enough to understand it. We do.
“How is it possible to do that ?”
He’s family. We claim him. I could post more words, but it’s the very idea that you don’t get.
“Are we supposed to ask St. Patrick himself ?”
“This statement is as odd as claiming St. Peter or St. Paul is yours or even Jesus Himself is yours or mine.”
St. Peter is ours too. St. Paul is ours too. And yes, Jesus is ours too. I don’t doubt that a man outside of the Church can know them, can love them and want to be with them, but we actually have them. They are in the communion of saints. Quite frankly we feel a kinship with them that most non-Catholics (other than our Orthodox brethren) don’t. We are one family.
Catholics make a big noise about anti-Catholicism being "the only respectable prejudice," but whenever push comes to shove, it seems they know who the low man on the totem pole really is. It's always those Anglo-Saxon Southern Protestants--the very people who are an embarrassment to chr*stianity because of their Biblical literalism.
I wish there were more "bigots" like Robertson. This country would be better off if all those liberal urban Catholics were "bigoted" Southern Anglo-Saxon Protestants. The "one true church" sure toots its own horn, but it's useless at actually changing anything. After all, they're intellectuals, not "bigots."
While not a Protestant myself, I at least know something you don't: that to a Protestant Catholicism (and Orthodoxy) simply make no sense whatsoever. Why shouldn't Protestants consider eighteenth century Methodists the people who brought chr*stianity to Ireland if they don't even recognize your religion as chr*stianity at all?
It takes some gall for a religion that spent fifteen hundred years attacking Torah observance and claiming that G-d changed His mind about everything He had commanded to turn around and denounce anti-nomianism when it is opposed to a fake Judaism of your own invention.
I am disappointed in you.
All the nasty little accusations of "bigotry" (a liberal word, btw) can't change the fact that the "one true church" is way, way, way on the Left and into modernism on almost every issue. I'm sorry this frustrates you, but I refuse to allow you to take your frustration out on someone else unchallenged.
“Who is “we” in the above statement ?”
” Surely you’re not saying that only you are a believer in Jesus and are in the communion and others who are believers but are not in your denomination are out of it. I hope you’re not saying that.”
I am not in a denomination. I never have been. I never will be. And only those who are in sacramental communion with the Body of Christ can know Christ in the fullest sense.
“Well, explain it to me so that I can get it because I surely don’t get how you can claim St. Patrick as your own.”
I don’t think any amount of explaining will work. You deny the communion of saints. Perhaps you should read up on that.
“That would be as odd as some Republican claiming Ronald Reagan as his own and then denying others the same claim simply because he does not belong to the GOP.”
I don’t see that as odd at all when you consider that RR was a GOP member and leader. Now, it would be odd for a Democrat to claim RR as his own - especially if he were pro-abortion, a taxer and spender and wanted us to be weak compared to our foreign enemies. Protestantism teaches things that are not in keeping with traditional, historic Christianity.
“If not, how then can you know that he belongs solely to you and not to others who share his faith ?”
We are the only ones who share his faith. He was not a Protestant. He was not a Baptist Protestant. He was Catholic. He and I could share the same the Eucharist, live under the same pope, under the same bishop, etc. He shares none of that with you. St. Patrick and I would even share the same liturgical language - Latin. We could even communicate with one another while you would - most likely - be unable to do so.
“You seem to be saying that he who does not belong to your denomination or church but believes in Jesus and His words cannot claim St. Paul, Peter or Jesus as his own. On what basis do you make such a claim ??”
Christ is ONE. He has only ONE bride. It is not your sect. The bride is the Church.
“Well, good for you, but I ( who am not Roman Catholic ) feel as much kinship with St. Patrick on the basis of the faith we share as well.”
You don’t share a faith with St. Patrick. You only say you do. He was consecrated bishop. You don’t believe in consecrating bishops. He taught his people to hold to the sacraments - as seen in the abiding tradition that Celtic Christians (Catholics) held to. Protestants do none of that. None of it.
“I see no reason why you should claim him solely as your own. If I share Patrick’s faith, I am his brother in Christ am I not ?”
You do not share St. Patrick’s faith. You reject it. You cannot reject it and share in it at the same time.
“I am disappointed in you.”
I certainly won’t lose sleep over that. You’re no longer a disappointment to me. I ceased being disappointed at your almost constant beating of a single drum beat about biblical literalism in thread after thread after thread after thread after thread after thread.
“All the nasty little accusations of “bigotry” (a liberal word, btw) can’t change the fact that the “one true church” is way, way, way on the Left and into modernism on almost every issue.”
An accusation can’t be nasty if it’s accurate. Mine was. Robertson is a bigot. Period. Whether or not you consider it a liberal word quite frankly doesn’t matter. Whether or not you consider the Church to be on the “Left and into modernism on almost every issue” also doesn’t matter. None of that changes the fact that Robertson is a bigot.
“I’m sorry this frustrates you, but I refuse to allow you to take your frustration out on someone else unchallenged.”
And your challenge will amount to exactly what? Your post to me will do exactly what? Make you feel better? Give you a few warm fuzzies? Roberston will still be a bigot and you will still have only one drum beat. I will still be right. I can live with that. I bet you will too.
Discuss the issues all you want, but do not make it personal.
Can you show me exactly where I read his mind?
Freep-mail me to get on or off my pro-life and Catholic List:
Please ping me to note-worthy Pro-Life or Catholic threads, or other threads of general interest.
May The Lord God imprint HIS TRUTH ON ALL THOSE WHO SEEK HIM FIRST AND FOREMOST.
Okay, and where in there did I read his mind? It seems to me you could only guess I was reading his mind if you read his mind. After all, based on what he wrote he clearly does not share the same Catholic faith that St. Patrick had. He says he does, but he doesn’t. Where’s the mind reading?
Aren’t you essentially saying Catholics can no longer support the objective truth and de facto must accept all protestant assertions as if they were true merely because they were made?
Also, based upon his Protestant beliefs he cannot believe in consecrating bishops. He didn’t refuted my statement either.
We can always ask him if he does believe in the consecration of bishops and see what he says?
If he has stated his beliefs, simply quote what he said.
If you believe he logically must believe a certain thing, then ask him.
Breastplate of St Patrick [Poem/Prayer]
Confessions of St. Patrick (In his own words)
Feast of Saint Patrick, the Enlightener of Ireland
St Patrick's 'day' moved to March 15th (in 2008)
St. Patricks Breastplate Prayer
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.