Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Saint Patrick

St Patrick Window

Today Irish people and adopted Irish people from across the world join together to celebrate all things Irish, and especially the man of the day, who ironically wasn't Irish, Saint Patrick himself.

Patrick, who came from somewhere in the west of Britain, probably Scotland or Wales, had been kidnapped by Irish raiders and was carried across the Irish Sea. Having tended pigs on Slemish, he eventually escaped, but not before becoming a Christian and putting his faith in the God of his fathers.

Having trained for gospel work, he heard in a dream the voice of the Irish calling to him to come back and tell people the good news of Jesus and the Kingdom of God on this island. This he did, and many places today are named ~Patrick in his honour (e.g. Templepatrick, Seapatrick, Downpatrick, etc).

His first church was in a barn given by a local chief in Saul, County Down, just outside Downpatrick, and this photo is of the stained glass window in the St Patrick's Memorial Church at Saul, which was built in 1932 to mark the 1500th anniversary of St Patrick.

Considering that Patrick was someone who loved the Lord Jesus and served him, it's a bit weird that his name and day is an excuse for a whole pile of drinking, when half the world, it seems, wants to try a Guinness. Especially if it's green and costs three times as much.

Almighty God, in your providence you chose your servant Patrick to be the apostle of the Irish people, to bring those who were wandering in darkness and error to the true light and knowledge of your Word: Grant that walking in that light we may come at last to the light of everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

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