While many traditions and meanings have been associated with St. Patrick’s Day, the story of St. Patrick is the one of a man with an earnest desire to shine God’s light in the darkness.
One of the church’s early missionaries, God used St. Patrick to help spread Jesus’ message throughout Ireland in the fifth century. Born British, (which at that time was part of the Roman empire), St. Patrick was captured and imprisoned by the Irish as a teenager. During his harsh imprisonment, St. Patrick learned the Celtic language and culture of the Irish, which would come in handy later in life.
St. Patrick escaped prison after six years and returned back to his native England. He used his newly found freedom to draw closer to God, and underwent ministry training. After many years of traveling Europe, St. Patrick felt God pulling him back to Ireland to spread His message.
Upon returning, his love of God spurred him to share God’s love with everyone he came in contact with. Amidst death threats from magicians, teachers and kings, his confidence in God gave him the strength to spread the Gospel to the same people that had imprisoned him years earlier. St. Patrick’s passion converted the hearts of kings and servants alike, and his legacy is still remembered today. Hence, on March 17th, the day of his death, people around the world celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.
So take some time today to remember the people in your life who have introduced you to God. Thank them for having the same courage exemplified by St. Patrick 1,500 years ago.
O Come, O Come...