Saturday, March 17, 2012


Barbara Ward-Finneran
The Irish are shaking everything they've got today and many are looking forward to kicking back some dark ale or green beer.  On this day when everyone is Irish, we celebrate one of the world's most popular saints, St. Patrick, who is the Patron Saint of Ireland.

Even the secular world embraces him like they do St. Valentine and St. Nicholas. Catholic, Christian or not - everyone loves these saints!

Saint Patrick was actually born in Scotland in the year 387. His parents were Romans living in Britian.  They were in charge of the colonies.  Around the age of 14, he was captured during raiding party and brought to Ireland, the, a land of Druids and pagans, as a slave. Patrick was forced to heard and tend sheep. During his imprisonment he learned the language and customs of the people and grew closer to God in prayer.

Patrick's captivity lasted until he was around 20.  He escaped by following God's directions from a dream.  God told him to leave ireland by going to the coast.  There sailors took him back to Britian and he was reunited with his family.  Other dreams spoke to him.  he had another one in which he heard the people of Ireland calling to him, "we beg you, holy youth, to come and walk among us once more."

He studied and became a priest and was later ordained a Bishop and sent to share the Gospel in Slane, Ireland.  Patrick preached for 40 years and converted thousands to Christianity and began built churches all over Ireland.  he worked many miracles and wrote of his love for God in Confessions.  He is also credited with bringing the written word to Ireland.

Saint Patrick used the Shamrock to teach the Trinity - God the Father, God, the Son and God the Spirit - three parts yet one God.  The Shamrock and has been associated with him and the Irish ever since then.

The issue of Saint Patrick and the snakes is by some thought to be literal and by others a metaphor.  Either way the stories of him driving the snakes out of Ireland are cherished and still told today.

After years of livingin poverty, traveling the country and enduring suffering, he died at Saul, Downpatrick, Ireland on March 17, in the year 461.

His love and total devotion to and trust in God is a shinning example to people to this day.

Today everyone is Irish, and we at DRL wish you a Happy St. Patrick's day!!


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