Wednesday, March 17, 2010

So, Who IS the real St. Patrick?

This may come as a surprise...but Patrick has nothing to do with drinking green beer, finding leprechauns, or chasing snakes out of Ireland! He was an actual person who lived between 389-465 AD (though the year of his death is debatable). It is believed that he died on March 17, 465--that is where March 17 comes in. He was originally from Scotland (Roman Briton as it was known as) and when he was around 16 was kidnapped by the Irish Druids to become a slave in Ireland...he is quoted as saying, "...our deservings; for we had gone away from God and had not kept his commandments, and were not obedient to our pastors, who admonished us to our salvation." He was converted to Christ (not to a church) while a slave for six years then escaped to return to his home in Briton where he studied the Bible (there is no record of formal ecclesiastical training). Much against his family's wishes, he returned to Ireland around the age of 43 to be a missionary. Like Paul of the Bible, he did not marry. He established "monastaries" to train others to serve Christ. Over his 30 years of ministry thousands were converted to Christ (note again...not to a church--to salvation in Christ), and he wrote The Confession (a "confessor" in Patrick's day was one who had risked his life by openly following the Lord Jesus Christ). The beautiful country of Ireland was evangelized, and he is credited with starting over 300 local churches. After his death and during the 6th and 7th centuries, Ireland came to be called the "Island of Saints." The Catholic church has "sainted" him as one of their own, but Patrick made no mention of the Catholic church during his writings, he is buried in what is now the church yard of a Protestant cathedral in Downpatrick, Ireland, and Catholicism was actually introduced to Ireland over 100 years after Patrick and was not firmly established in Ireland until around 1172. Patrick wrote that he had "...a care and a great anxiety for the salvation of others..." and referred to himself as a "fisher of men." His writings are interwoven with quotations from Scripture. Mmmm, the life of the real Patrick is quite different from the thoughts of most people today. He sounds like he was quite a servant for the Lord, and I'm thankful to know about him.

1 comment:

Cottage Rose said...

I have heard that about him before,, but not in such detail... very interesting,,, he really lead a inspiring life... thank you for sharing him with us.... have a great week.