St Patrick is the Patron Saint of
- Archdiocese of New York,
- Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark
- Puerto Rico,
- Murcia (Spain),
- Clann Giolla Phádraig,
- Archdiocese of Melbourne;
- Invoked against snakes, sins
|St Patrick, Bishop Biography|
|Date of Birth||385 AD|
|Place of Birth||Great Britain|
|Profession||Romano-British Christian missionary and bishop in Ireland.|
|Place of Work||Ireland|
|Date of Death||6th Century|
|Place of Death||Ireland|
|Feast Day||March 17|
|Patron Saint of||Ireland,
Archdiocese of New York,
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark,
Clann Giolla Phádraig,
Archdiocese of Melbourne;
Invoked against snakes, sins
St Patrick Life History
Today’s saint, the patron of Ireland, was English. He was born in an unknown year to Catholic parents in an educated home in Roman Britain. He did not go to Ireland willingly but was kidnapped by pirates at the age of sixteen and enslaved. He went from the warm embrace of his home to herding pigs, exposed to sleet and cold, starving on the rain-soaked coast of rural Ireland. Young Patrick’s experiences of isolation, cold, hunger, captivity, and loss turned a boy into a man, and transformed a tepid Christian into an ardent soul burning with love for the Holy Trinity.
After six years of torturous enslavement, Patrick escaped his captors and made the difficult voyage back to his family. But the Irish were never far from his mind. One night, he had a dream. Patrick sees a man he knew in Ireland named Victoricus approaching from the west. Victoricus holds countless letters and hands one to Patrick. It is titled “The Voice of the Irish.” As he begins to read the letter, Patrick hears a multitude of voices rising, as if one, from a forest near the Western Sea: “We beg you, holy youth, to come and walk among us once more.” Patrick is deeply moved. Unable to read any more, he wakes up.
Patrick decides to return as a missionary to Ireland. Feeling himself unprepared, he first studies for many years at monasteries in France. After receiving an excellent education in the Faith, he receives priestly and episcopal ordination. He then embarks as a fully equipped missionary for his adopted homeland. There he finds a rustic people steeped in paganism. It is not today’s paganism – well read, superior, and too sophisticated to believe in religious “mythology.” Real paganism, the paganism of remote Ireland, calls upon dark forces to conquer the white spirits and angels of God. Real paganism casts spells, calls down lightning from the night sky, mixes potions to poison its enemies, and forms flames into swords for battle. Real paganism calls upon the devil because it knows he keeps his appointments. This is the dark paganism Patrick finds lurking in the foggy hills and bogs of his new land. Fifth century Ireland had a deeply entrenched, richly layered culture of pagan worship. And Bishop Patrick used his crozier, like a dagger, to stab it right in the heart.
St. Patrick converts the Irish one tribe after another. He matches the tribes’ preternatural forces with supernatural powers. There are numerous anecdotes, of dubious historicity, describing how Patrick turned an enemy into a fox, converted his walking staff into a tree, or drove all the snakes out of Ireland. These tales illustrate a deeper point — St. Patrick had command over creation itself and used that power to communicate the truth of the Christian God who created creation.
For the Church to send a bishop to Ireland in the fifth century was to land a man on the moon. Beyond Ireland there was no one. Patrick evangelized a rugged, clever people in a rugged, clever way. He conquered their witches, wizards, and warlocks with the Holy Spirit. He vanquished their incantations, potions, brews, demons and sorcery with the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of the Son of God in the Mystery of the Altar we know as the Blessed Sacrament. He overcame the “black laws of pagandom” with a protecting God who walks always and lovingly at our side. Many centuries of saints, abbots, missionaries, scholars, and monks set forth from tiny Ireland to traverse the globe in the service of the Gospel. They owe the rich Catholic culture of their homeland to that pillar of strength known as St. Patrick.
St Patrick Prayer
May the Strength of God pilot us.
May the Power of God preserve us.
May the Wisdom of God instruct us.
May the Hand of God protect us.
May the Way of God direct us.
May the Shield of God defend us.
May the Host of God guard us.
Against the snares of the evil ones.
Against temptations of the world
May Christ be with us!
May Christ be before us!
May Christ be in us,
May Christ be over all!
May Thy Salvation, Lord, Always be ours
This day, O Lord, and evermore. Amen.
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