Saturday, March 12, 2005

Saint of the Week

Yay for St. Paddy's Day!

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(5th century)


Patron Saint of Ireland,
Archdioceses of Boston and New York,
Invoked against snakes

Kidnapped from the British mainland around age 16, and shipped to Ireland as a slave. Sent to the mountains as a shepherd, he spent his time in prayer. After six years of this life, he received had a dream in which he a command to return to Britain; seeing it as a sign, he escaped. Studied in continental monasteries. Priest. Bishop. Sent by Pope Saint Celestine to evangelize England, then Ireland, during which his chariot driver was Saint Odran, and Saint Jarlath was one of his spiritual students. In 33 years he effectively converted the Ireland. In the Middle Ages Ireland became known as the Land of Saints, and during the Dark Ages its monasteries were the great repositories of learning in Europe, all a consequence of Patrick's ministry.

"I came to the Irish people to preach the Gospel and endure the taunts of unbelievers, putting up with reproaches about my earthly pilgrimage, suffering many persecutions, even bondage, and losing my birthright of freedom for the benefit of others.

"If I am worthy, I am ready also to give up my life, without hesitation and most willingly, for Christ's name. I want to spend myself for that country, even in death, if the Lord should grant me this favor.

"It is among that people that I want to wait for the promise made by him, who assuredly never tells a lie. He makes this promise in the Gospel: "They shall come from the east and west and sit down with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob." This is our faith: believers are to come from the whole world."

- from the Confession of Saint Patrick

From Catholic Forum.

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