Who was St Patrick anyway?
by Patte Smith on Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at 10:07am ·
I am Patrick,
yes a sinner and indeed untaught;
yet I am established here in Ireland..
I am certain in my heart
that "all that I am," I have received from God.
So I live among barbarous tribes,
a stranger and exile
for the love of God.†
In anticipation of bringing the gospel to the St Patrick's Day festivities here in Raleigh on Saturday, I wanted to share some delightful information on the man known as "St Patrick".
Did you know that Patrick was not an Irishman? He was actually a missionary to the Irish to in the A.D. 400s.
Saint Patrick's real name was Maewyn Succat. For his first 16 years, Maewyn lived a normal life as the son of a wealthy landowner and magistrate in Britain. Then, at 16 Maewyn was captured near his home in what is now known as Scotland during a pirate raid on his village. He was brought to Ireland and sold as a slave to Druids. Maewyn confesses that he was not not a Christian at the time of his abduction, being a thoughtless, careless teen. He says: "I was taken captive before I knew what I should desire and what I should shun".
During his six years of captivity to a chieftain Maewyn was a shepherd on the hills of Antrim. Patrick relates in his "Confessio" that while tending the flocks his heart was slowing warmed and he came to truly trust in Jesus Christ. He writes that he prayed many times a day;
and His fear increased in me more and more, and the faith grew in me, and the spirit was roused, so that, in a single day, I have said as many as a hundred prayers, and in the night nearly the same, so that whilst in the woods and on the mountain, even before the dawn, I was roused to prayer and felt no hurt from it, whether there was snow or ice or rain; nor was there any slothfulness in me, such as I see now, because the spirit was then fervent within me.
Patrick gives glory to Christ for saving his soul:
Before I was humiliated
I was like a stone that lies in deep mud,
and He who is mighty came
and in His compassion raised me up
and placed me on the top of the wall.
On your walls..I have set watchmen;
all the day and all the night
they shall never be silent.
You who put the Lord in remembrance,
take no rest..
~ Isaiah 62:6
After Maewyn was converted he escaped by ship and returned to his family. He went on to receive Christian training and was ordained. It was then that he adopted the name Patrick.
Patrick sensed a clear call to return to the country of his bondage to bring the way of salvation in Jesus Christ to the Irish pagans. Though his superiors protested, Patrick would not relent, saying: "If I be worthy, I live for my God to teach the heathen, even though they may despise me". Patrick did go back to Ireland and carried on his mission there for thirty years, bearing much fruit amongst the heathen. Patrick is said to have died in his mission field on March 17, the day commemorated as St. Patrick's Day.
The shamrock is a traditional symbol because Saint Patrick used the three-leafed shamrock to represent the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Originally a Catholic holy day St. Patrick's Day has evolved into a secular holiday.
The first St. Patrick's Day in America was celebrated in Boston in 1737.
Here are some quotes from Patrick's writings:
Christ beside me,
Christ before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ within me,
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me.
~ St Patrick
No one should ever say that it was my ignorance if I did or showed forth anything however small according to God's good pleasure; but let this be your conclusion and let it so be thought, that - as is the perfect truth - it was the gift of God.
That which I have set out in Latin is not my words but the words of God and of apostles and prophets, who of course have never lied. He who believes shall be saved, but he who does not believe shall be damned.
God has spoken.
The Lord opened the understanding of my unbelieving heart, so that I should recall my sins.
I am Patrick, a sinner, most uncultivated and least of all the faithful and despised in the eyes of many.
If I be worthy, I live for my God to teach the heathen, even though they may despise me.
For a wonderful teaching on the real St Patrick watch this 56 minute video produced by Berean Beacon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kCJpf71spQM