Tuesday, March 17, 2009

St. Patrick's Feast Day...

St. Patrick was born in Wales in 387. While still young, "Niall of the Nine Hostages" captured him and sold him to a farmer in the country. He took care of the farmer's sheep and even his pigs. Sometimes he would have to kill one of the pigs just to keep from starving to death.

Then one day, he heard a voice, a voice from God. He said that St. Patrick had to get away, because there was a ship in Waterford that was going to France. When he got there Patrick asked the captain if he could go to France on his ship. The captain asked "Why are you in such a hurry?" Then he continued "You're a slave who is trying to escape, aren't you?" St. Patrick said "Yes, I am." The captain said "I don't want slaves on my ship!" Then they sailed away. They didn't get far. Almost as soon as the ship left the dock the dogs started barking and they had to go back. After several times of this St. Patrick said that if he could go on the ship then he would keep the dogs quiet. The captain said "Alright but if you are lying, then we will throw you overboard!" So, St. Patrick boarded the ship, and almost as soon as he got on the ship the dogs stopped barking.

When they landed in France St. Patrick realized what he was meant to do. He was meant to become a priest. Then he heard another voice, again from God, He said that once he had finished priest school he must go back to Ireland and preach to the Irish pagans.

By the time he went back to Ireland it was Easter. On Easter night they lit a fire. What they didn't know was that they were actually breaking the law. Then it was the custom that the king would light his fire first, then all the people could light theirs. Seeing St. Patrick's fire they thought the king had already lit his fire so they started lighting theirs. When the king saw that the people had already started lighting their fires when he hadn't even lit his yet, he flew into a rage and had all the foreigners, including St. Patrick, arrested.

The chieftain did not want to hear about God, but he let St. Patrick speak anyway. He was surprised at how well he knew their language. St. Patrick picked up a shamrock and asked "How many leaves are on this shamrock?" They all answered three. Then he asked "How many seeds did it take to make the three leaves?" They all answered "one". He continued to explain the Blessed Trinity with the shamrock, after all, if three leaves can be made by one seed why can't Three Persons be in one God?

St. Patrick stayed in Ireland for sixty years. During that time he not only consecrated 350 bishops to follow him, converted all of Ireland, but also cast out every single snake from Ireland.

His feast is March 17.
He is the patron saint of Ireland.

~ by Theresa

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