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An Irish Blessing in Honor of St. Patrick’s Day

Enjoy the stunning images of Ireland as actress Roma Downey recites a beautiful Irish blessing for you to enjoy on St. Patrick’s Day!

Saint Patrick was a visionary who was committed to his Christian faith and helped spread the message in an amazing way. So, keep in mind that Saint Patrick’s Day is more than green beer, running off snakes and marching in parades.

Who was St. Patrick?

Saint Patrick was born in 373 in Roman Britain (Scotland). Patrick believed at a very young age that he was destined to lead. In 389, pirates captured him and took him to live as a slave in Ireland. After having spiritual visions while working in the fields tending sheep, Patrick escaped from his captors in 395 to return to his homeland and reunite with his family.

St. Patrick’s Confessio and Crusade for Christianity

A Christian convert, Patrick underwent devout religious training for 15 years before he became a priest. In his Confession, Patrick reflected on his personal trials and tribulations on his journey to sainthood. As a young man of great faith and conviction, he began having more visions that predicted he would convert multitudes of pagans. In 405, driven by ambition and desire to save souls, Patrick arrived in Ireland and set out on his mission.

Patrick quickly gained the permission of King Loegaire to preach Christianity to the Irish natives who were Druids and pagans. Patrick knew that he must reach out to the people through inspirational sermons and devotional prayers to break the pagan tradition. For years Patrick preached about the Resurrection of Jesus Christ across the countryside and was able to sway many followers who denounced their paganism to join Christian congregations.

Shamrocks and Celtic Crosses – Symbols of St. Patrick’s Day

In Confessio, he wrote, “I must make known the gift of God and everlasting consolation, without fear and frankly, I must spread everywhere the name of God so that after my decease I may leave a bequest to my brethren and sons whom I have baptized in the Lord – so many thousands of people.” Accordingly, he introduced religious symbols – shamrocks and Celtic crosses – to his Irish brethren. The shamrock, with its three leaves, symbolized the Trinity; while, the Celtic cross, with its superimposed sun, embodied elements of nature which were familiar to the former pagans. These deeds helped to spread the Christian message faster and farther. By 431, Patrick had converted all of Ireland, putting an end to paganism, human sacrifices and slavery.

On March 17, 493 Patrick passed on to his eternal reward, dying at Saul, Ireland and left behind a legacy of valor and service that is remembered to this day. Every year on the anniversary of his death, St. Patrick’s Day, people celebrate his life and times with parties, festivals, and parades. Although this day of remembrance has become secularized, the spiritual nature is always recognized by religious observers who show reverence to the Apostle of Ireland—St. Patrick.

(Source: Historical Biographies at Suite 101)
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