Content provided by guest writer, Jenna Finkenhoefer
As we celebrate St. Patrick’s day this week, I took a minute to do some research on who St. Patrick was (courtesy of Wikipedia):
According to tradition dating back to the early Middle Ages, Patrick served as the first bishop of Armagh and Primate of Ireland, and credits him with bringing Christianity to Ireland, converting a pagan society. According to the autobiographical Confessio of Patrick, when he was about sixteen, he was captured by Irish pirates from his home in Britain and taken as a slave to Ireland, looking after animals; he lived there for six years 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, but little is known about the places where he worked. By the seventh century, he had already come to be revered as the patron saint of Ireland.
His feast day is observed on 17 March, the supposed date of his death. It is celebrated inside and outside Ireland as a religious and cultural holiday. In the dioceses of Ireland, it is both a solemnity and a holy day of obligation; it is also a celebration of Ireland itself.
So this year, before you have your corned beef, soda bread, lucky charms, green beer, et al…. I’d invite you to take a moment and appreciate the Saint who overcame slavery and oppression, and brought Christ to a large portion of our world. I know the holiday will have new meaning and relevance for me this year.
“May the strength of God pilot us, may the wisdom of God instruct us, may the hand of God protect us, may the word of God direct us. Be always ours this day, and forevermore.” -St. Patrick