What This Day is All About

Posted by Emma on March 17, 2010 at 7:57 pm | Filed under:Christianity,Heroes of the Faith

This is a repost of an article I wrote last Saint Patrick’s day. Although it is often used as an excuse to go party in our society, we must remember who Saint Patrick really was and what this day remembers.

St. Patrick’s day is today. I wonder how many people really know what St. Patrick’s day is all about. How many people know that it is commemorating something more than green shamrocks and being Irish? How many people know who St. Patrick’s day is commemorating. Who is St. Patrick?

St. Patrick lived somewhere around 387 – 461 AD. He was born in Britain but spent much of his life in Ireland. St. Patrick was an incredible man of faith and he leaves us a remarkable testimony. His parents were strong Christians and from his childhood Patrick had incredible faith. When he was fifteen he was carried away to Ireland as a slave. Right before he was captured he fell from a high cliff, a fall which might have killed him. He realized that God in His infinite mercy had saved him for some purpose and on that day he prayed, “My life belongs to you, dear Lord, I will dedicate it to You and forever do Your will. But please reveal to me what Your will is.”

Although Patrick’s life seemed to have taken a terrible turn, God used this time to prepare Patrick for the mission He had for him. God didn’t leave Patrick alone in Ireland. An older man was captured at the same time as Patrick, who knew the Irish language and was able to help Patrick stay strong in the Lord and learn the language and ways of Ireland.

When Patrick was twenty-one, God opened the door and he escaped back to Britain. Patrick then studied the Bible and became a Bishop. He then went back to Ireland to preach the Gospel to them. God was with Patrick from the first day he arrived there. At the place he fist landed, the king sent Irish Wolfhounds out to kill him. Patrick was able to give the dogs commands and make friends with them because of his previous experiences as a shepherd. This opened the king of that area to hearing the message Patrick brought and he became a Christian.

St. Patrick traveled throughout much of Ireland preaching and working miracles. When one of the most powerful kings in Ireland challenged him to a contest of the gods, he readily excepted the challenge. Before the contest was started however, the king tried to poison St. Patrick’s drink. St Patrick blessed the cup and drank it all, except a small frozen drop that contained the poison.

The contest started with the Druid (the representative of the pagan gods of Ireland) calling in snow. He could not get rid of the snow. St. Patrick made a cross with his fingers and the snow melted instantly. The Druid then called for darkness. He could not get rid of that either, St. Patrick again made a cross and it vanished. Furious, the Druid now challenged St. Patrick to send one of his disciples into a little two room house. The Druid would be locked in one room and St. Patrick’s disciple would be locked in the other. The house would then be set on fire. Whoever came out alive, served the more powerful God. One of St. Patrick’s disciples volunteered and the final showdown commenced. St. Patrick’s disciple was the one left living. That opened the door for St. Patrick to preach.

Traveling to another part of Ireland, Patrick was told many of the people there would not convert until a big stone idol was destroyed. St. Patrick went to the place where that idol stood, and called upon the power of the Lord Jesus to cause the idol to topple and be smashed into bits. Saying this, he struck the idol with his staff and the huge idol fell and was smashed into millions of bits. When the people of Ireland heard about this, many were open to hearing St. Patrick’s message and converted.

It is common to see shamrocks around St. Patrick’s day. Although they now have many different things connected with them, they originally were connected with the day because St. Patrick used them to explain the trinity. A shamrock has three leaves, but is still one shamrock, just as God has three representations but is one God.

Although no one is absolutely certain that these stories are true, they are based on facts and legends. These stories only begin to tell of St. Patrick’s life and faith. He was an incredible man, afraid of nothing and a fighter for the Lord! If you want to know more about him, I would recommend the Landmark book titled:┬áThe Life of Saint Patrick┬áby Quentin Reynolds.

This is who St. Patrick’s day commemorates. I think he deserves to be commemorated. We should read about his life and tell others about this remarkable man of faith on this day. The world has commercialized it because they do not know what it is really about and probably do not want to know. We should make sure that the real purpose of this day (to honor St. Patrick) is not lost by all the commercialization the world puts on this day. Let us remember St. Patrick and tell others about his life and the Lord he served.

Much of the material for this article comes from The Life of Saint Patrick, by Quentin Reynolds, copyright 1995, Random House, Inc.

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