Wednesday, 16 March 2011

St. Patrick

The color green, a shamrock, St. Paddy’s Day parades? All of these things have become associated with our celebration of St. Patrick’s Day every March. But why? One of Christianity’s most well known figures, Saint Patrick was born in Britain to a wealthy family near the end of the fourth century. At the age of sixteen, Patrick was taken prisoner by a group of Irish raiders. He was carried away to Ireland where he was held captive for more than six years. During his time as a slave, Patrick worked as a shepherd, attending the flocks of his master. Alone and homesick, Patrick prayed many times a day while in the pastures with the sheep. In Patrick’s work, “Confessio”, he wrote, “the love of God and His fear increased in me more and more, and the faith grew in me, and the spirit was aroused, so that, in a single day, I have said as many as a hundred prayers, and in the night nearly the same, so that whilst in the woods and on the mountain, even before the dawn, I was roused to prayer and felt no hurt from it, whether there was snow or ice or rain; nor was there any slothfulness in me such as I see now, because the spirit was then fervent within me.” While a slave in Ireland, Patrick learned the Celtic language and became familiar with the culture. After six years of living as a slave, he escaped from his master and set sail on a ship to Britain. Patrick was reunited with friends and family. However, things were different with Patrick when he returned. Patrick had a new desire in his heart and that was to devote himself to the service of God. Patrick joined St. Martin’s monastery at Tours, learning the Christian life, which would help prepare him for his future ministry amongst the Irish. After years of learning and growing in faith, Patrick and his companions set sail to Ireland in the summer months of 433. Upon his arrival, Patrick went to his former master to pay the price of ransom as well as to impart to him the blessings of God but by the time he had arrived, his master had set fire to his own mansion and treasures, even casting himself upon the flame. Patrick evangelized in Ireland for many years. It wasn’t easy as St. Patrick endured trials and persecutions from those who opposed the Christian faith. In his “Confessio”, he tells of the numerous times he and his missionary companions were captured. But through these hardships, St. Patrick prevailed and remained steadfast in the faith, sharing the Gospel throughout Ireland. St. Patrick allegedly used the shamrock, a three-leaf clover, to explain the difficult understanding of the Holy Trinity to the pre-Christian Irish. To this day, the shamrock has become a symbol of Ireland. St. Patrick founded many churches in Ireland and continued looking after them until his death on March 17, 493. Every year, on March 17, millions of people celebrate this annual feast day that celebrates St. Patrick, a patron of Ireland. In Ireland, March 17 is a national holiday as they remember the life and work of Saint Patrick. Copyright 2008 LessonSnips

L.      Lord have mercy on us
R.      Lord have mercy on us.
L.      Lord, have mercy on us.
R.      Christ, have mercy on us.
L.      Christ, hear us.
R.      Christ, graciously hear us.
(Next Response: Have mercy on us.)
God, the Father of heaven,
God, the Son, Redeemer of the world,
God, the Holy Spirit
Holy Trinity, one God,
(Next Response: Pray for us)
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
St. Patrick,
St. Patrick, Apostle of Ireland,
St. Patrick, most worthy in God’s eyes,
St. Patrick, model of Bishops,
St. Patrick, enemy of infidelity,
St. Patrick, truly humble,
St. Patrick, always trying to do good,
St. Patrick, example of charity,
St. Patrick, patron of our Congregation,
St. Patrick, teacher of the true faith,
St. Patrick, our powerful protector,
St. Patrick, our compassionate helper
L.      Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world,
R.      Spare us, O Lord.
L.      Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world,
R.      Graciously hear us, O Lord.
L.      Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world,
R.      Have mercy on us.
L.      Pray for us, O glorious St. Patrick
R.      That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

O God, you sent your blessed servant St. Patrick, to teach and save the people of his time and place. You gave our Patron a loving heart like your own. You filled him with great faith and a burning desire to work hard for your kingdom. Please listen when he prays for us, his sons. Grant to us, though his intercession, a lively faith, a firm hope and a strong will to build your Kingdom. AMEN.