Tomorrow everyone dons their green or orange, puts on a pot of corned beef and cabbage, and looks for leprechauns as we remember Saint Patrick. His story is an interesting one:
Although known as the patron saint of Ireland, Saint Patrick was actually born in Scotland in 387 of Roman parents. In his early teens, he was abducted and taken to Ireland as a slave, where he tended sheep. At the time, Ireland was a pagan land. During his captivity, he developed an active prayer life; he later wrote, "The love of God and his fear grew in me more and more, as did the faith, and my soul was roused, so that, in a single day, I have said as many as a hundred prayers and in the night, nearly the same... I prayed in the woods and on the mountain, even before dawn. I felt no hurt from the snow or ice or rain."
When he was about 20 years old, he told in a dream to escape his captivity and return to Britain, where he was reunited with his family. There he studied for the priesthood and returned to Ireland after his ordination. For 40 years, he preached the Gospel there, converting nearly the whole of Ireland. He died in 461 at the age of 74.
This prayer was engraved on the breastplate of Saint Patrick:
Christ to protect me to-day against poison, against burning, against drowning, against wounding, so that there may come abundance of reward. 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 where I lie, Christ where I sit, Christ where I arise, Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me, Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks of me, Christ in every eye that sees me, Christ in every ear that hears me.
Let us imitate Patrick in his fearlessness, his steadfastness in prayer, and his constancy to the Gospel of Christ!
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