Happy St. Patrick's Day!
This isn't exactly a holiday that I have celebrated in the past (except for the wearing of green to escape being pinched), but I think it is a day worthy of celebration!! Instead of drowning myself in ale, maybe I will find some green clover cookies or something at Fry's tomorrow to share with my family if I don't eat them all in the car first.
The Patrick named for this holiday wasn't even Irish!! He was born in England in 389. Though his parents were Christians, he did not share their faith...until the fateful day that changed his life forever.
At the tender and rebellious age of 16, Patrick was kidnapped by Irish pirates while playing on the rocky shores of England. (I just love stories where tragedy turns to triumph...) I guess these pirtates had no use for him since they sold him to other Irishmen who kept him in slavery for 6 long years. I can't imagine the despair he must have felt, but it was all planned by a merciful God for his good, I believe.
It was during this time of darkness that, well, I will just let him speak for himself, "I was sixteen years old and knew not the true God; but in that strange land the Lord opened my unbelieving eyes, and, altogether late, I called my sins to mind, and was converted with my whole heart to the Lord my God, who regarded my low estate, had pity on my youth and ignorance, and consoled me as a father consoles his children."
Eventually he was able to escape and return to England, but his adventures don't end there. He kept having dreams that the Irish children were calling him back to the pagan country of Ireland. I'm sure that was the very place he never wanted to see again!! To make a long story short, he did go back and preached the Gospel for nearly 30 years! He had an incredible ministry and started around 300 churches and baptized 120,000 people. He used the 3-leaf clover to demonstrate the Trinity, and it has become the very icon of this holiday. Neat!
This man fortunately didn't have to die a martyr, but to me he is worth remembering and celebrating. I am sure the many Irish people who have fallen asleep in Christ would agree with me as well if they could.
I feel sorry for those who justify this day as yet another reason to drink themselves silly.
P.S. Don't forget to wear green!!
St. Patrick Image Credit - Wikipedia