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Feastday March 17

 

Centuries ago, when Britain was ruled by Rome,
there was a young boy named Patrick
who lived in Britain with his family.

He was born in Scotland in 387 AD.

Although Patrick's parents had reared him as a Christian,
he didn't take their teachings seriously.
He preferred to follow the sinful example of other youths.

Patrick continued in this way of life until one day he was
captured by a band of marauders from Ireland
who made him return with them as a slave to their country.
They forced him to live in poverty and hunger,
working as a shepherd and a swineherd.

Patrick missed Britain and his family so much
that he thought his heart would break.
He began to pray, however, asking God to help him
and begging forgiveness for his sins.

The Lord heard his prayers, filling him with the fire
of a new faith he had never known before.

One night while Patrick was still in captivity,
God showed him a way to escape from Ireland,
and after six years of slavery, he found his way back
to Britain and his family.

From that time on, Patrick dedicated his life to God,
eventually receiving Holy Orders.
His life became a continual quest for holiness.

 

 

One night while Patrick was at prayer,
he heard a voice calling him.
An angel appeared to him with the message
that the people of Ireland
wished him to return to their country
and walk among them once more-this time,
not as a captive, but as God's apostle.

Patrick saw God's plan in all that had happened,
and he consented to return to Ireland.

He was consecrated bishop and was sent there
by Pope St. Celestine to preach the Gospel of Christ.

In the early days, Patrick suffered great persecution,
but the fire that God had kindled in his heart
spread throughout all of Ireland,
and Patrick came to be regarded as an angel among men.

He died in the year 464.

Saint Patrick stands as a symbol of the Irish,
of the unique destiny they claim,
and of the beloved place
they will always have in God's heart.

 

The three -petaled shamrock,
different from the four-leaf clover,
now popular in the secular celebrations of St. Patrick's Day
was used by this great Saint
to teach the Mystery of the Holy Trinity
Father, Son and Holy Spirit, three Persons in one God.

 

May you always have…

A sunbeam to warm you,

Good luck to charm you,

And a sheltering angel

So nothing can harm you,

Laughter to cheer you,

Faithful friends near you,

And whenever you pray,

Heaven to hear you.

 


 

The Prayer of Saint Patrick

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through a belief in the Threeness,
Through confession of the Oneness
Of the Creator of creation.
I arise today
Through the strength of Christ's birth and His baptism,
Through the strength of His crucifixion and His burial,
Through the strength of His resurrection and His ascension,
Through the strength of His descent for the judgment of doom.
I arise today
Through the strength of the love of cherubim,
In obedience of angels,
In service of archangels,
In the hope of resurrection to meet with reward,
In the prayers of patriarchs,
In preachings of the apostles,
In faiths of confessors,
In innocence of virgins,
In deeds of righteous men.
I arise today
Through the strength of heaven;
Light of the sun,
Splendor of fire,
Speed of lightning,
Swiftness of the wind,
Depth of the sea,
Stability of the earth,
Firmness of the rock.
I arise today
Through God's strength to pilot me;
God's might to uphold me,
God's wisdom to guide me,
God's eye to look before me,
God's ear to hear me,
God's word to speak for me,
God's hand to guard me,
God's way to lie before me,
God's shield to protect me,
God's hosts to save me
From snares of the devil,
From temptations of vices,
From every one who desires me ill,
Afar and anear,
Alone or in a multitude.
I summon today all these powers between me and evil,
Against every cruel merciless power that opposes my body and soul,
Against incantations of false prophets,
Against black laws of pagandom,
Against false laws of heretics,
Against craft of idolatry,
Against spells of women and smiths and wizards,
Against every knowledge that corrupts man's body and soul.
Christ shield me today
Against poison, against burning,
Against drowning, against wounding,
So that reward may come to me in abundance.
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 when I lie down, Christ when I sit down,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks of me,
Christ in the eye that sees me,
Christ in the ear that hears me.
I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through a belief in the Threeness,
Through a confession of the Oneness
Of the Creator of creation.