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March 17

St Patrick March 17

Saint Patrick

Bishop, “Apostle of Ireland”

(Around 385 – 461)

“Each and all shall render account for even our smallest sins before the judgement seat of Christ the Lord.

Saint Patrick

Saint’s Life Story

Kidnapped as Teenager

Maewyn Succat (Patrick) was born around 385 to Calpurnius, a Roman-British deacon and Conchessa. The location of his birth was somewhere in Roman Britain, perhaps in a village called Bannavem or perhaps in Kilpatrick near Dunbarton, Scotland. Patrick was kidnapped from the British mainland by Irish raiders when he was around the age of 16 and carried off to to be a slave in pagan Ireland. For 6 years, Patrick herded sheep, probably in Antrim or Mayo. During this time he was a slave, Patrick went through a profound religious transformation. Patrick had a dream in which he was commanded to return to Britain; seeing it as a sign, he escaped. Patrick travelled almost 200 miles to board a ship transporting Irish hounds to the British mainland. 

Priest and Bishop

From 412 to 415, Patrick started studying at the monastery of Lerins in Britain. He then spent 15 years at Auxerre, France and was probably ordained around 417. St. Germanus of Auxerre consecrated Patrick as Bishop, most likely around 432. Patrick was sent to Ireland to replace St. Palladius, who was dispatched by Pope Celestine to Ireland ‘as their first bishop’. St Palladius either died or moved on to Scotland at that time.

Patrick travelled all over Ireland meeting fierce opposition from hostile chieftains and Druids. He overcame this differences and eventually converted most of the island to Christianity. Patrick visited Rome, Italy in 442 and 444. He founded the cathedral church of Armagh that soon became the center of the Church’s activities in Ireland.

During his three decades in Ireland, he raised the standards of scholarship, encouraged the study of Latin, and brought Ireland into closer relations with the rest of the Western Church.

Achievements

Patrick wrote Confessio, an apology against his detractors and the chief source of his biographical information about him. Patrick’s two main achievements were the promotion of a native clergy amd the carefil integration of the Christian faith within the Irish-Celtic culture. Patick used a simple, sincere, biblical style of preaaching that won both hearts and minds.

Legends

Patrick retired to Saul, County Down, Ireland, where he died on March 17, 461. Legend credits Patrick with teaching the Irish about the doctrine of the Holy Trinity by showing people the shamrock, a three-leafed plant, using it to illustrate the Christian teaching of three persons in one God. The absence of snakes in Ireland has been noted and the legend has attributed the banishment of all snakes from Ireland to Patrick. 

Beatified:           Pre-Congregation

Canonized:        Pre-Congregation

Feast Day:         March 17

Patron Saint:    Ireland; Snake Bites; Those Fearing Snakes

Source:

Reflection

Young Patrick was kidnapped from England and sold as a slave in Ireland. How amazing that he eventually went back and worked successfully for Ireland’s conversion to Christianity! He truly practiced forgiveness.

Do you have any place in your life where you need to practice forgiveness?

Source: Saint Patrick (389-c.461) | Saint Mary’s Press (smp.org)

Prayers

St. Patrick’s Breastplate

“Christ with me,
Christ before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ in me,
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ on my right,
Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down,
Christ when I sit down,
Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through belief in the Threeness,
Through confession of the Oneness
of the Creator of creation.”

Source: St. Patrick’s Breastplate: A Shield for Divine Protection (ourcatholicprayers.com)

Saint Links 

Aleteia – St. Patrick’s Breastplate

AnaStpaul – Saint of the Day – 17 March – St Patrick (c 386–461) “The Apostle of Ireland”

Angelus – Saint Patrick

Bartleby.com – Rev. Alban Butler. Volume III: March. The Lives of the Saints. 1866. March 17 St. Patrick, Bishop and Confessor, Apostle of Ireland

Catholic Exchange – St. Patrick

Catholic Fire – St. Patrick: Apostle of Ireland

Catholic Ireland – St Patrick’s Day -17th March

Catholic News Agency – St. Patrick of Ireland Feast Day: Mar 17

CatholicSaints.Info – Saint Patrick

Franciscan Media – Saint Patrick

Independent Catholic News – Dublin: Archbishop Farrell – Homily for St Patrick’s Day 2021

Loyola Press – Saint Patrick, 389-461 Feast Day March 17

My Catholic Life – Saint Patrick, Bishop

New Advent – Moran, P.F. (1911). St. Patrick. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Retrieved September 13, 2022

Saints, Feast, FamilySaint Patrick’s Story

Saint Mary’s Press – Saint Patrick (389-c.461)

uCatholic – Saint Patrick

Wikipedia – Saint Patrick

Video Link