Although Patrick was not an Irish man the Irish have taken him to their hearts.
Patrick is said to be the son of a middle class British family of Roman background. He was not particularly religious as a young boy. Marauding Irish raiders were to change all that.
Stolen from his family Patrick was taken to Ireland, sold as a slave and put to mind sheep on a lonely hillside.
According to a writer named Thomas Cahill Patrick found his own inner way to God’s love and care
“Patrick had been raised in a Christian home, but he didn't really believe in God. But now -- hungry, lonely, frightened, and bitterly cold -- Patrick began seeking out a relationship with his Heavenly Father. As he wrote in his Confessions, "I would pray constantly during the daylight hours" and "the love of God . . . surrounded me more and more."
It is said that after six years of painful ‘solitude’ God’s Spirit guided Patrick in a dream to travel 200 miles in the middle of many dangers to where he was able to board a ship for his home.
Patrick was a changed person and soon felt a desire to devote his life to God’s service. He became a priest and later a bishop and soon felt he could hear the voice of the Irish calling him back.
He obeyed and his presence in Ireland changed the lives and the destiny of a people. Before his death in about AD 461 throughout the whole of Ireland the people had become believers in the Good News of Jesus.
Patrick’s passion for the Good News was shared by many, many generations of Irish people who took it literally to “the ends of the earth”.
What a wonderful gift was given to the Irish and to the world by the Man of Passion, Patrick.
Today we too can meet Patrick in the Sanctuary of our hearts. We can converse with him and, using the gifts we now have we can tap in the “Passion of Saint Patrick”. We can take in the “energy of Patrick’s spirit” through connecting with him and allowing his soul energy into our spirit. This can be more inebriating than the famous drink with which we like to celebrate.
Patrick, Man of Passion, thank you for the gift of your life and your wonderful passion for God and people.