Irish for a day – The life and struggles of St. Patrick, who loved the Irish people

Written by Chronicle Staff. Posted in Uncategorized

Published on March 11, 2016 with No Comments

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As a boy, Patrick admitted that he wasn’t what some would consider an enthusiastic Christian. But God was about to change that.

Patrick lived with his family in the western part of Britain, a Roman settlement, run by a city council using Roman laws. The people looked to Rome for their protection in the wild lands of Britain.

At the time, the Roman Empire was dying, making it vulnerable to barbarian tribes. The Romans had few troops in Britain and they were strained to the limits. This made it easy for Irish pirates, who were looking for slaves, to sail the Irish seas without any interference.  They arrived in Patrick’s home region around the year 405. At the time, Patrick was home alone with the family’s servants. They, along with Patrick, were taken captive and dragged to the coast with ropes tied around their necks while the pirates laughed and hit them to keep the pace.  Patrick was then put on a swift-sailing vessel. He was convinced that God was taking him and his countrymen and scattering them into all the nations.

The pirates took Patrick to the northwestern part of Ireland where he was sold to a farmer-rancher.  He had to work as a shepherd which involved living outdoors in the fields, woods, and the sides of mountains. He had to face storms, biting frost, winds, and terrible cold weather without any protection.

Patrick felt that God had forgotten him. To occupy himself during the long lonely hours, he began to think about his parents and the Christian lessons they had taught him as a child.  He was surprised that he recalled their teachings.

Sitting alone on the side of a mountain, he received Christ into his life.  At the end of six years of slavery, Patrick felt certain that God wanted him to return to his native land. After traveling 200 miles across Ireland, he finally reached the sea. The ship’s captain allowed him to board the vessel if he promised to work for his passage, to which he agreed.

After arriving in France, Patrick and the crew wandered for days across the land. Soon they ran out of food. The captain asked Patrick to prove his Christian faith by finding them something to eat.  He replied, “Nothing is impossible for my God. Turn to Him and he may send food in your path this day until you are filled, for He has plenty for all.”

He no sooner spoke those words than a herd of pigs wandered past him. After killing, cooking and eating them, the men rested by the road for two days.  Then, carrying their cargo on their backs, they reached the trading center.  There, the captain asked Patrick to pay him for his passage. Having no thought for Patrick’s help carrying the cargo, he sold him back into slavery.

No longer a Roman, 22-year-old Patrick was carted off to Italy. He managed to escape and headed for home.  His family cried when they saw him and begged him to stay with them. But Patrick knew that God wanted him to return to Ireland. However, he was wise enough to know that he couldn’t go there and immediately start preaching to people steeped in paganism. So he studied for the priesthood. After he saw a petition that was sent to Pope Celestine I by the local clergy asking that missionaries be sent to the Emerald Isle, Patrick applied for the position and was accepted.

Patrick wasn’t just another missionary going to Ireland, he was a slave returning to the sight of his suffering. Following his arrival, he was invited to stay in the home of a man named Dichu who planned to kill him. This was a custom of defense in those days.  However, after hearing the gospel, he had a change of heart and gave Patrick a small piece of land and a small barn that was converted into a site of Christian worship.

Something very unusual was beginning to take place throughout Ireland. People began forsaking their superstitious beliefs for the teachings of Christ.

So how does the shamrock fit into this story?  Patrick used the green, three-leaf clover to represent the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit as a living insignia of the truths of the Triune God.

On St. Patrick’s Day, total strangers, along with the Irish people, reflect on the life of an ex-slave who loved the Irish people so much that he was willing to suffer in order to reach them with the Good News. By taking this form, a user tends to be none the wiser that the app is illegitimate, and with several strains of malware designed to sit silently within your everyday apps, the limits to the potential damage caused are seemingly endless

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