Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Legend of St. Patrick

I thought I'd get a jump on things with this post. I'll be busy on Tuesday the 17th.

As much as we might like corned beef and cabbage, green beer, the shamrock and the ridding Ireland of snakes – this has very little to do with the real St. Patrick.

Patrick was born in Britain @390. At age 16 he was captured by Irish pirates and held for 6 years, during which, as one of my chaplain instructors used to say, “He had a ‘significant religious experience’.” After his escape/release he sought training as a priest either in Britain or Gaul (France). He returned to Ireland and was responsible for the conversion of most Irish to Catholicism. He was opposed by the Druid (pagan) priests.

Patrick spent the remainder of his life in Ireland and died there @460.

The following is attributed to him. It is from a longer work called “St. Patrick’s Breastplate.”

I arise today Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,Through the belief in the threeness, Through confession of the oneness Of the Creator of Creation.

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 host to save me From snares of devils, From temptations of vices, From everyone who shall wish me ill, Afar and anear, Alone and in multitude.

The entire text may be found here.

So here’s to St. Patrick from this Presbyterian; lift a glass and toast his memory.

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