March 17, 2009

In Honor of St. Patrick

Facts and icons from the Joyful Heart Website

This day which is known as a party day filled with corned beef and green beer and a pinch if you are not wearing green, "is based on St. Patrick (389-460 AD), missionary to Ireland, is a Christian that all can be proud of, Catholic and Protestant alike. We celebrate his martyrdom on March 17 each year."


St. Patrick's Prayer for the Faithful
May the Strength of God guide 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 Angels of God guard us.
- Against the snares of the evil one.

May Christ be with us!
May Christ be before us!
May Christ be in us,
Christ be over all!

May Thy Grace, Lord,
Always be ours,
This day, O Lord, and forevermore. Amen.

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This is my favorite icon of St. Patrick, he holds the Shamrock that reminds us of Ireland.


Here is an exert from the story on the Joyful Heart website, this was one of Patrick's experiences shortly after he returned to Ireland.

The druid Lochru started to insult Patrick viciously and to slander the Christian faith in the most arrogant terms. A holy boldness took hold of Patrick. His eyes locked with the pagan priest's as truth confronted darkness. Sensing God's presence he shouted: "O Lord, who can do all things, who sent me here: May this wicked man who blasphemes Your name be carried up out of here and die straightway!" An unseen Power suddenly flipped the evil priest into the air and crashed him to the ground, his skull shattering against a rock. "Seize him!" the enraged king sputtered. Patrick stood and called, "May God arise and His enemies be scattered!" Darkness suddenly fell on the camp. Confused guards began to attack one another. The ground shook and frightened horses galloped off, smashing the chariots. A terrified king knelt before Patrick, though his eyes still flashed in anger.

Easter morning Patrick and his five companions marched into the castle and entered the king's banquet hall. A contest with the remaining druid, Luctmael, ended in the magician's fiery death. Patrick faced King Loegaire boldly. "Unless you believe now, you will soon die, for God's wrath will come down upon your head." That day a broken king knelt before God's servant.

This confrontation between Patrick's God and demonic forces marked the beginning of a thirty-year mission to Ireland.


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"Patrick started his life the son of a deacon in the village church who served more for a tax advantage than out of love for God. Patrick did not find his faith until his family home was burned and as a young boy taken into slavery. He found God in the fields while shepherding the the pagan chieftain kings sheep. Over the course of Patrick's life where he faced opposition and several times imprisonment...Patrick said, "Daily I expect murder, fraud, or captivity, but I fear none of these things because of the promises of heaven. I have cast myself into the hands of God Almighty who rules everywhere." By the time of Patrick's death he had baptized tens of thousands and established hundreds of churches throughout Ireland. Within a century this once pagan land became predominately Christian, possessing a vigorous faith."

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On this day I thank God for the men and women who have gone on before us, whose faith and strength give us examples of how to live for Christ in a society and world who oppose Him.

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