Did you know that, in essence, Patrick was a missionary?
St. Patrick, whose Irish name is Padraig, was a Briton captured by the Irish Celts and forced into slavery. Eventually he returned to his native England, but then went back to Ireland to share the Gospel with the Irish. Instead of turning his back on the Irish, he returned to save his enslavers, demonstrating the love of Christ. He faced many dangers, such as hostile chieftains and the Devil seeking to keep Ireland in his clutches.
Through Patrick's ministry, many Irish were saved. Irish monks in turn, traveled to Scotland and spread God's good news there. Because St. Patrick returned to the Irish, Ireland has a Christian heritage and because of the monasteries that were established, we now have such treats today as The Book of Kells and beautiful Irish poems written to the glory of God.
It seems that no one remembers this. For many it is just a day to wear green, drink green beer, and get trashed.
|Celtic Cross (PD Photo.org)|
But what is the real meaning of St. Patrick's Day?
While St. Patrick's Day is a nice day to celebrate the Irish and Irish heritage, it is also more than just that. It is a day to remember St. Patrick. This can mean different things for different people.
For me personally, it is a day to thank God for sending Patrick to the Irish and for remembering the missionaries like him around the world. When I think of St. Patrick, I thank God that He sends out people like Patrick to call people of all nations to Christ. I thank God for His mercy and the way in which He works through our feebleness to accomplish the salvation of many.
Quotes by St. Patrick: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/s/saint_patrick.html