Friday, March 17, 2017

St. Patrick

Saint Patrick, known as the "Apostle of Ireland," was born in Roman Britain in the late 4th century. At the age of 16, he was kidnapped by Irish raiders and taken as a slave to Ireland. 

He spent six years there before escaping and returning to his family. After becoming a cleric, he returned to northern and western Ireland. In later life, he served as a bishop. By the seventh century, he had already come to be revered as the patron saint of Ireland.

Saint Patrick's efforts against the druids are well recorded; he converted many Irish to Christianity. The Declaration, which is attributed to Patrick, is the most important document regarding his life. In it, he writes of his life and mission. He explains that he was called to be a bishop in Ireland to help convert pagan inhabitants to Christianity.

The Miracles of St. Patrick

St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, is celebrated worldwide for his missionary work and the numerous miracles attributed to him. His life and deeds have been a source of inspiration and reverence for centuries.

One of the most famous miracles associated with St. Patrick is the legend of him driving all the snakes out of Ireland. It is said that he stood on a hill, used a wooden staff to herd them into the sea, and banished them from the island forever.

Another remarkable miracle attributed to St. Patrick is the story of him raising people from the dead. Accounts from various sources suggest that he brought as many as 33 people back to life, a testament to his extraordinary powers.

St. Patrick is also credited with using the three-leafed shamrock to explain the concept of the Holy Trinity to the Irish pagans. The shamrock, which has become a symbol of Ireland and St. Patrick's Day, was used to represent how the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit could all exist as separate elements of the same entity.

His miracles are not just limited to these well-known tales; numerous other miraculous healings and acts are attributed to him. These stories have been passed down through generations and continue to play a significant role in Irish culture and heritage.

St. Patrick's legacy is one of faith, perseverance, and transformation. His miraculous deeds are believed by many to be true, while others view them as symbolic stories that carry deeper meanings about life and spirituality.

Regardless of one's beliefs, the miracles of St. Patrick remain an integral part of his story and continue to inspire people around the world.

Patrick's Day is celebrated on 17 March, commemorating Saint Patrick and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland, and celebrates the heritage and culture of the Irish in general. Celebrations generally involve public parades and festivals, céilithe, and wearing green attire or shamrocks. The Archdiocese of New York has St. Patrick as its patron and its seat, St. Patrick's Cathedral is named after him.  There is also another older cathedral named after him on Mulberry Street.  

The introduction of Christianity had a profound impact on Irish culture, reshaping it in numerous ways. The new religion brought with it a different set of values and practices that gradually became intertwined with the existing Irish traditions.

One of the most significant changes was the shift from a polytheistic belief system to a monotheistic one. This transition was facilitated by St. Patrick and other missionaries who often incorporated elements of Irish spirituality into Christian practices, making it more acceptable to the local population.

Christianity also introduced a new social structure centered around monastic communities which became hubs of learning and culture. These monasteries played a crucial role in preserving not only religious texts but also secular knowledge during the Dark Ages. They were instrumental in the spread of literacy and education throughout Ireland.

The Christian calendar replaced many of the traditional Celtic festivals with Christian holidays, such as Easter and Christmas. However, some pre-Christian festivals were Christianized rather than replaced, like Samhain becoming All Saints' Day.

Furthermore, Christianity brought a new moral framework that emphasized virtues like charity, humility, and forgiveness. These principles were reflected in the laws and social norms that developed under Christian influence.

Overall, Christianity's arrival led to a blending of cultures that created a distinct Irish identity, combining elements of the old beliefs with the new faith. This cultural synthesis has left a lasting legacy on Irish history and society.

Unfortunately, the legacy of St. Patrick and his evangelization effort is being erased in Ireland and in the Americas. Parades once meant to honor him are more like celebrations of Irish culture than the saint and Christianity. Gay factions are allowed to march in it after decades of being banned. Ireland legalized abortion and so-called same-sex marriage and has been pushing the Catholic Church back in favor of progressivism and liberalism. 

The day has also been hijacked by individuals pushing alcoholism and other vices that are dangerous to one's health and the lives of others. Alcohol does nothing but harm the body, break up families and relationships, and cause accidents that kill hundreds of thousands a year. It also contributes to cancer and other deadly diseases. There is nothing beneficial about drinking beer or any alcoholic beverages. It is just a mindless vice perpetuated by mindless people who live for vices.  

Let us ask St. Patrick's assistance and prayers as we face a new Paganism that is more cunning and disastrous than the one he faced in Ireland.  



References:

1. "Confessio of Saint Patrick" - Translated by Ludwig Bieler

2. "The Life of Saint Patrick" - E.A. Thompson

3. "Saint Patrick: A Visual Celebration" - Brian de Breffny

- "St. Patrick." Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online.

- "St. Patrick's Day." History.com. A&E Television Networks.

- "Who Was Saint Patrick?" Christian History | Learn the History of Christianity & the Church.

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