|“The Lord opened the understanding
of my unbelieving heart, so that I should recall my sins.”
Patrick’s journey to find Jesus began when we was kidnapped from his homeland by roving pirates. Born in Scotland in 389, he was brought to Ireland where he was held captive as a slave. Although his father was a deacon and his grandfather, priest, Patrick did not welcome God into his life until he was alone and afraid in Ireland working as a slave. The Irish people, at that time, practiced pagan religions. Patrick, frightened for his life and surrounded by people who worshiped trees and stones, opened his heart to God. During his years as a captive, Patrick reverently prayed, and it brought him peace of mind to be so close to God.
Eventually, Patrick escaped and traveled to France, at that time Gaul, to study in a monastery. One night, he heard voices begging him to return to Ireland to spread his faith. Slowly, St. Patrick led the Irish people towards God and away from their way of worshipping nature and practicing magic. He applied examples they could relate to, using three-leaf clovers to show how there could be three persons in one God. With God’s help, St. Patrick spread Christianity throughout Ireland baptizing thousands of people before his death in 461. Men became priests and monks and women became nuns. They set up schools, and more people were reached every day. Practicing the spiritual work of mercy of instruction, St. Patrick was an influential teacher, and his classroom was Ireland.
“St. Patrick Breastplate”
Christ with me, Christ before me,
Christ behind me, Christ within me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ at my right, Christ at my left.