Boosting this post from last year back up for the day – love the story of Patrick…
Beyond the legend and myth, the wearing of green and shamrocks, the true story of Patrick (c. 385 – c. 493) as a missionary, an apostle to the people of Ireland is a great one. It is a story of a forgiveness and redemption as Patrick was as a young boy kidnapped and taken to Ireland as a slave, while there turning to faith in God. Later he escaped and returned to his home only to be called of God to return tot he land of his captors for the sake of the Gospel. With God’s guidance and discernment Patrick was able to break through many cultural barriers and communicate the message of Christ in ways that were understandable to the local people. Some selected quotes here from Patrick taken from two sources, Letter to the Soldiers of Coroticus (c.450?) and The Confession (c. 452?).
I am Patrick, yes a sinner and indeed untaught; yet I am established here in Ireland where I profess myself bishop. 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. Yet now I am driven by the zeal of God, Christ’s truth has aroused me. I speak out too for love of my neighbors who are my only sons; for them I gave up my home country, my parents and even pushing my own life to the brink of death. If I have any worth, it is to live my life for God so as to teach these peoples; even though some of them still look down on me. Can it be out of the kindness of my heart that I carry out such a labor of mercy on a people who once captured me when they wrecked my father’s house and carried off his servants? For by descent I was a freeman, born of a decurion father; yet I have sold this nobility of mine, I am not ashamed, nor do I regret that it might have meant some advantage to others. In short, I am a slave in Christ to this faraway people for the indescribable glory of “everlasting life which is in Jesus Christ our Lord.” I cannot keep silent, nor would it be proper, so many favours and graces has the Lord deigned to bestow on me in the land of my captivity. For after chastisement from God, and recognizing him, our way to repay him is to exalt him and confess his wonders before every nation under heaven. Therefore be amazed, you great and small who fear God, and you men of God, eloquent speakers, listen and contemplate. Who was it summoned me, a fool, from the midst of those who appear wise and learned in the law and powerful in rhetoric and in all things? Me, truly wretched in this world, he inspired before others that I could be — if I would — such a one who, with fear and reverence, and faithfully, without complaint, would come to the people to whom the love of Christ brought me and gave me in my lifetime, if I should be worthy, to serve them truly and with humility.
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