Today is St. Patrick’s Day. Beyond the green beer and rowdy drunken debauchery that typically surrounds the occasion is a historical character that was God’s apostle to Ireland—forget ‘Saint’ this guy functioned as an apostle and a power evangelist.
There is all sorts of stories about Patrick that today they call ‘myths’. I believe that a lot of the myths were probably based upon true events that seem far too supernatural for secular folks to accept today.
This we do know about Patrick, he lived between 340 to 440 AD. He was born to a wealthy Christian Roman family living in Britain. At age 16 he was taken from his home and enslaved by Irish Celtic raiders. He tended sheep for his new masters for 6 years and became closer to God in the process. The ‘voice of God’ directed his escape and later commissioned him to return to Ireland as a missionary. He went to seminary and became a Priest in preparation and later a Bishop.
It is said in documents from that period that he “baptized thousands of people”, and ordained hundreds of priests to lead new Christian communities and villages. He also converted the sons of Kings and chieftains leading to the conversion of an entire pagan nation to Christ.
Legend has it that he was a healer and that he banished snakes from the island though scientists today doubt whether there were that many snakes if any on the island after the last glacial period.
Here’s an example of the spiritual condition of the church that St. Patrick left behind—part of a prayer attributed to him but probably written a couple of generations later:
From “Saint Patrick’s Breastplate”:
Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ in me, Christ below me, Christ above me, Christ to the right of me, Christ to the left of me, Christ where I lie, Christ where I sit, Christ where I stand, Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me, Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me, Christ in every eye which sees me, Christ in every ear which hears me.
We could use this kind of spiritual maturity. What a great declaration to live by–an example for those seeking a Kingdom culture and economy. *Top
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- Prayer for the Faithful by St. Patrick (willhumes.net)
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