Why Millions celebrates St. Patrick’s Day in grand style
St. Patrick is an uncommon personality that lives his life for others. Thus, it was not surprising to see millions of people celebrating him all over the world, especially in Nigeria, Ireland and South Africa.
March 17th is the feast day of those that answers Patrick and Patricia. He is popularly referred as Saint Patrick of Ireland. He was a Roman Britain-born Christian missionary and evangelizer who lived for others. He was totally selfless by all standards of evaluation and analysis.
Below is a brief recap of his life as gathered from multiple sources:
‘Saint Patrick was born at Banna Venta Berniae Calpornius, Britain c. AD 387
His father was a deacon while his grandfather ‘’Potitus’’ was a priest.
When he was about 16years old, he was captured from Britain by Irish raiders and taken as a slave to Ireland.
He worked as a herdsman, remaining a captive for six years.
He was educated at a monastery and school of divinity founded by Illtud (now Llantwit Major).
Saint Patrick writes that his faith grew in captivity, and that he prayed daily.
After six years he heard a voice telling him that he would soon go home, and then that his ship was ready.
Fleeing his master, he travelled to a port, two hundred miles away he says, where he found a ship and, after various adventures, returned home to his family, now in his early twenties.
Saint Patrick recounts that he had a vision a few years after returning home:
I saw a man coming, as it were from Ireland. His name was Victoricus, and he carried many letters, and he gave me one of them. I read the heading: “The Voice of the Irish”.
As I began the letter, I imagined in that moment that I heard the voice of those very people who were near the wood of Foclut, which is beside the western sea—and they cried out, as with one voice: “We appeal to you, holy servant boy, to come and walk among us.
He also ordained priests to lead the new Christian communities.
Saint Patrick “baptized thousands of people”.
He converted wealthy women, some of whom became nuns in the face of family opposition.
He also dealt with the sons of kings, converting them too.
Saint Patrick’s position as a foreigner in Ireland was not an easy one.
His refusal to accept gifts from kings placed him outside the normal ties of kinship, fosterage and affinity.
Legally he was without protection, and he says that he was on one occasion beaten, robbed of all he had, and put in chains, perhaps awaiting execution.
Saint Patrick is important because he serves as a testament to the overall missionary legacy of the Church.
He afforded later Christian missionaries the opportunity to assess the best methods to employ when confronting pagan groups abroad.
Perhaps the most significant aspect of his missionary efforts in Ireland was that he transcended the boundary between Church hierarchy and prominent Church Fathers in terms of the viability of missionary pursuits.
He proved that any Christian could live out the Scriptural commandment to spread the word of God while “exalting and confessing his wonders before all the nations that are under the heavens.”
His example would inspire later missionaries to undertake great missions to evangelize abroad in later years.
One way for Saint Patrick to ensure success for evangelizing opportunities while among the Irish was to live in solidarity with those whom he was trying to convert.
Approaching the Irish as an equal while showing no pretense of superiority allowed the Irish to become more receptive of Christian teachings.
In fact, Saint Patrick himself avowed in his Confession that he “sold this nobility of his,” to enhance the commonality between himself and his Irish audience.
Although he may not have been as well versed in the teachings of the Church as other missionaries, Saint Patrick did understand the basic tenets of the Christian faith.
He seemed to be haunted by his lack of education, and claimed that evangelizing among the Irish “revealed his lack of learning,” according to his own Confession.
Limited education would prove to be an obstacle for Patrick, and considering that “every word he spoke had to be translated into a foreign tongue,” communicating with the pagans in Ireland became a daunting task.
A complete lack of adequate translators hindered Saint Patrick’s attempts to explain the Gospel message and herald his message of the dogma of Jesus Christ.
Later Christian missionaries aware of the challenges faced by Patrick would ensure that a sufficient knowledge of foreign languages was known before embarking on missions abroad.
Jesuit missionaries in later years would pay particular attention to the details of languages while traveling in Asia and North America.
He was able to preach and lead significantly by example Saint Patrick died 17 March, 461
He is the patron saint of Ireland.
He is also the patron saint of Nigeria
He is the patron saint of Montserrat, New York and Boston
He is the patron saint of engineers
Saint Patrick is the patron saint invoked against snakes and snake bites
He is the patron Saint of excluded and abandoned people
He is also the patron saint invoked against sins and witchcraft
Saint Patrick is the patron saint of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne
Saint Patrick’s Day (17 March) is celebrated both in and outside of Ireland, as both a liturgical and non-liturgical holiday.
In the universal Roman Catholic Church it is an optional memorial, though in the dioceses of Ireland it is both a solemnity and a holy day of obligation’
Were you nourished by the life of this exemplary Saint? Share your thoughts in the comment box below!