Presentation on theme: "17 th March. St Patrick, is the patron saint of Ireland, whose feast day is 17 March. We are going to explore the story of St Patrick, but remember, it."— Presentation transcript:
St Patrick, is the patron saint of Ireland, whose feast day is 17 March. We are going to explore the story of St Patrick, but remember, it happened a long time ago and no one can really be sure of the facts and details. In Ireland, March 17th is a national holiday in honour of his memory. He is sometimes known as the Apostle of Ireland and is credited with bringing Christianity to the country.
Saints are not freaks or exceptions, they are the standard operating model for human beings. In fact, in the biblical sense of the word, all believers are saints. “Sanctity” means holiness. All men, women and children, are holy, for they bear the image of God.
What is a saint? First of all, one who knows he is a sinner. A saint knows all the news, both the bad news of sin and the good news of salvation. A saint is also a friend and lover of the world. He kisses this world with the tender lips of God
St Patrick was born in Cornwall in about AD 390 - roughly 390 years after birth of Jesus, or more than 1,600 years ago. He was the son of a Roman officer who was stationed in Britain & he was brought up in a wealthy household. When he was 16 some raiders from Ireland came to his village and captured him. They took him home with them to be a slave. He was sold as a slave to a chieftain called Milcho.
Can you imagine what that must have felt like - first to be attacked in your own home and then to be taken across the sea to a strange land and be forced to work as a slave? Picture Patrick on the boat - lost and alone, not knowing where he was going.
Milcho did not like Patrick, so he sent him off to Mount Slemish to look after pigs and be a swineherd. Life was very hard for Patrick on the mountain.
After six years Patrick escaped from Ireland.. He walked for 200 miles until he reached the sea. It is thought that he went to Europe, then found his way back home to Cornwall. He found a ship sailing for Brittany & when he arrived there he went to Auxerre, where his Mother had some relatives.
Think about how he might have escaped - we don't know how he did it but it would have been very dangerous. Think about his escape for a few moments. Patrick wanted to return to Ireland and convert the Pagans there to Christianity.
Can you imagine how amazed his family must have been to see him after all those years? Picture the moment when he comes home.
Patrick had a deep faith in God and after some years learning and studying he became a priest ; then, years later, he was made a Bishop and, amazingly, he went back to Ireland. Patrick set sail from Brittany in the summer of 432, and landed near Wicklow on the east coast of Ireland. He first went to Milcho's fort & converted him. How do you think he felt, going back to the country where he had been a slave for all those years?
He was more than 40 years old when he set about his new job of helping the Irish people get to know more about God and his ways. St Patrick used the shamrock leaf to explain the Holy Trinity to the pagans; one leaf with three parts – the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Patrick then converted the rest of Ireland to Christianity. He began to walk all over Ireland, gently talking to people about their lives and their needs and how he thought God could help them. He wasn't welcome everywhere - some people were determined that Patrick and his message weren't for them - but he continued his journeys all through his life, never giving up on his simple message. Patrick is famous for ridding Ireland of snakes, driving them into the sea. To this day there are no snakes in Ireland!
He died in the year 460, so he lived for about 70 years - quite old for those days.
Think about St Patrick. Think about his long life's journey: from Cornwall to slavery in Ireland, his escape to Europe, his return home to Cornwall, his learning about God, his return to the land of his slavery, his long journeys across Ireland, helping people with good news from God.
We become saints not by thinking about it, and not by writing about it, but simply by doing it. There comes a time when the “how?” question stops and we just do it. If the one we love were at our door knocking to come in, would we wonder how the door lock works, and how we could move our muscles to open it? No! We would just open the door!
Lent is the perfect time for us to think about Saints and how they lived. During this season of Lent, we must focus our attention on the poor and the needs of our suffering brothers and sisters. Sainthood is not something ‘out there’ for pious people; sainthood means that we try to respond to our baptismal promises and live a Christian life, following in the steps of the Jesus. This is our faith journey, this is our Lenten journey together.
Dear God, Thank you for St Patrick and his journeys. Thank you that he wanted to bring good news to everyone he met. Amen
Patrick worked to conciliate, to evangelise and to educate… He is remembered for his simplicity and pastoral care, for his humble trust in God, and for his fearless preaching of the Gospel. He is an excellent role model for everyone! We give you thanks, almighty God, for sending St Patrick to preach your glory to the people of Ireland. Grant that we who are proud to call ourselves Christian, may never cease to proclaim to the world the good news of our salvation. We make this prayer through Christ our Lord. Amen.