Solemnity of St.Patrick
Along with St Brigid and St Columba, Patrick was one of the great saints of Ireland.
St Patrick, originally from England, was taken hostage at the age of 16 and sent to Ireland for 6 years. During his captivity, Patrick underwent a conversion experience and became a man of deep prayer.
After his captivity, Patrick went back to England and then to France to train as a missionary. Later Patrick was ordained bishop for the mission in Ireland by Pope Celestine, who gave him the name “Patrick”, which means “father” (Pater) since he was to be the father to the Irish.
Before Patrick came to Ireland, there was a strong belief in all kinds of gods dating back to 3,500 years B.C. The pre-Celtic people of Ireland worshipped the sun with various different shrines. Patrick worked night and day to bring the faith all over Ireland. He preached with authority and acted with miracles, and wherever he went, his faith was noticed, thus bringing the Irish to know the true God could be described as his vocation. “He had a zeal for the living God.”
What kept Patrick going during his mission which had many trials and tribulations, was obviously his close friendship with God. He drew his strength from the living God. He knew that God was working through him.
The story of Patrick reminds us never to give up. We must be committed, be determined and lean on God, with whom we can accomplish anything. We need to get out there and do God’s work relying on his providence and be confident and determined. (c.f. St Paul of the Cross)
In these last three weeks of Lent, let us take a good look at ourselves to see if there is room for improvement in our zeal for God and in our prayer life.
Elizabeth Buchel has worked as an educator and psychologist for many years. She is formed in Passionist and Benedictine Spirituality. Elizabeth is a Passionist Companion and has been a active parishioner of St Brigids Marrickville since 1985.