Tuesday, March 17, 2009
The Story of St. Patrick
I can't believe I haven't done a post about St. Patrick!
He was born in England to wealthy parents near the end of the fourth century. Britain already had Christianity(much closer to Jesus' time than most people on the earth,) but there is no evidence that his parents were particularly religious, and he probably didn't have much faith in his early life. That was soon to change.
At the age of sixteen, Patrick was taken prisoner by a group of Irish raiders who were attacking his family's estate. They transported him to Ireland where he spent six years in captivity. At this time, he turned to God for help.
He was working as a shepherd, outdoors and away from people, alone and afraid.
One source says it is believed that Patrick first began to dream of reaching the Irish people for Christ during his captivity. Another source says that Patrick struggled to accept his call to go back to Ireland, but embraced it after he was free.
That is a perfect parallel to the story of Joseph, and how God can use something as horrible as our captivity as a slave to bring about His perfect will!
Just like Joseph, Patrick's captivity was his salvation. It was his door to life. It opened the way to his destiny.
Patrick escaped Ireland and went back to England. From there, one source says he went to France and became a monk and studied for 15 years. Other sources have different accounts of how he prepared for his evangelistic call.
After this he returned to Ireland where he spent his remaining years spreading the truth of the gospel, (via the only known means of Christianity then which was Catholicism) and transforming the lives of the Celtic people.
There were persecutions, there were trials for him, but he succeeded in evangelizing a whole nation (a whole island!).
Man! Are you in captivity today? Let God use your captivity to make you more devoted to Him, and He will bring you to the place where you can find your escape, just like Joseph and Patrick found theirs. He will then help you to find your destiny!
We celebrate all of that on St. Patrick's Day. And the West was not founded on Christianity, right?
Note: supposedly, the story about Patrick getting rid of all the snakes in Ireland is one of the many stories that the Irish love to tell. Wikipedia says that there weren't even snakes in Ireland to begin with, so the snakes they were referring to was the religion of the Druids.