Luck of the Irish to you my Gentle Readers. May Saint Patrick’s Day bring you much revelry. It was this day in 461 AD that the man who would become the patron saint of Ireland died in Saul, Downpatrick, Ireland.
Image from The Famous People.com
The man began life as a son in a Christian family in England with Roman Citizenship. Patrick lived his well to do lifestyle until, at the age of 16, he was captured and taken to Ireland by marauders.There he spent 6 years as a herder, turning to his religious faith to survive his abduction. When he escaped and returned to England, it would be natural for the man to hold a grudge against his Irish captors. This is not the case.
Patrick tells us in his own words, in his book Confessio, that he experienced a dream that told him to return to Ireland. After becoming an ordained bishop, Patrick did just that. He returned to his kidnapper’s homeland to preach the Gospel. He spent 40 poverty stricken years: building churches, teaching, traveling, and converting thousands of Irish. Instead of rage or hatred for those who took 6 years of his life, Patrick sought to better the Irish people. For this he was named their Patron Saint.
The legends of Saint Patrick have grown in the succeeding centuries. There are tales of him baptizing hundreds of people in a day and drove all the snakes from Ireland. Some say he used the three leaf clover, Ireland’s famous shamrock, to teach about the Holy Trinity. I would ask what is the deal with the 4 leaf clovers then. Who is the extra leaf?
Anyway, I think there is a great lesson in Saint Patrick to think about this day as we all don our green attire and drink or eat to excess. That lesson is one of forgiveness. If a young man of 16 in the early 400s can find a way to not only forgive his aggressors, but seek to better them through education, then we should be able to do so much more today. Drink the green beer and wear the leprechaun hat today my Gentle Readers. Also channel the incredible forgiveness of Saint Patrick. Until next time. Live well, write well, be well.