Now that the celebration week of Saint Patrick is over and his name has quickly been forgotten by those that see it as just another day, allow me to finish the third part of my research on the Saint…not the Day.  For those of you that are just tuning in, check out my last two post to get caught up!

The year is 432 A.D. and St. Patrick and his small entourage just landed on the shores of Ireland.  Upon arrival the team of strangers to the land were spotted and confronted by chief master, Dichu.  Not only was Dichu’s Patrick’s first contact, he was his host, FIRST CONVERT, and he also gave Patrick his barn for a church! That should give you an idea of how powerful God was working through Patrick from the start!

Of course this was only the beginning.  Patrick was extremely bold and passionate about his message of the GOSPEL and he took it directly to the top pagans and druids with a daring statement!  It was the eve of Easter (March 24th according to the calendars of their time) when Laoghaire, High King of Ireland, was also celebrating an ancient druidic ritual and festival with the people from the land.  It was a sacred lighting of a fire said to symbolize the “resurrection of the life-giving sun from the winter’s death”.  So on that eve this WAS to be the first fire lit from the royal hill.  St. Patrick and his team had other plans; they strategically posted up on the hill across from the royal hill and camped out until the darkness came.   It was in this darkness when St. Patrick lit up a flame that challenged and defied all that the druids stood for!  This defying flame was seen by the king and all the druids and enraged them.  The account told by Muirchu (7th Century biographer)

“And St. Patrick was called to the king outside the place where the fire had been kindled.  And the magicians said to their people, “let us not rise up at the approach of this fellow; for whosoever rises up at the approach of this fellow will afterwards believe in him and worship him.”

At last Patrick rose; and when he saw their many chariots and horses, he came to them, singing with voice and heart, very appropriately, the following verse of the Psalmist:  “Some put their trust in chariots and some in horses; but we will walk in the name of the Lord our God.”  They, however, did not rise at his approach.  But only one, helped by the Lord, who willed not to obey the words of the magicians, rose up.  This was Ercc, the son of Daig, whose relics are now venerated in the city called Slane.  And Patrick blessed him; and he believed in the everlasting God.

And when they began to parley with one another, the second magician, named Lochru, was insolent in the Saint’s presence, and had the audacity, with swelling words to disparage the Catholic faith.  As he uttered such things, St. Patrick regarded him with a stern glance, as Peter once looked on Simon; and powerfully, with a loud voice, he confidently addressed the Lord and said, “O Lord, Who canst do all things, and in Whose power all things hold together, and who hast sent me hither-as for this impious man who blasphemes Thy name, let him now be taken out of this and die speedily.”  And when he had spoken thus, the magician was caught up into the air, and then let fall from above, and, his skull striking on a rock, he was dashed to pieces and killed before their faces; and the heathen folk were dismayed.”

St. Patrick knew that he had to bring this message of love and power to the top.  I believe it was displayed in a very eye opening way with this encounter that was just described.  After gaining this type of attention from the head of the land St. Patrick continued to spread the gospel through out the rest of the land.  If the kings or leaders of a tribe were not converted on the spot, he would get access for him and his team to set up camp near the people of the village.  It was here where they were able to organize a “community” center.  The team would then engage with the village people through conversation, ministry, prayer, preaching, as well as the visual arts.  The Irish people are very well known for their visual arts, this was one of the things that Patrick was able to pick up on in his time as a slave.  The ministry team would spend weeks to months in a place until they felt led by the Lord to build a Church.  St. Patrick would baptize and disciple the converts in this time and raise them up.  Patrick and his team would go from tribe to tribe doing this same thing.  They would often leave behind one of his disciples to pastor one of the newly established churches and the cycle would continue!

Mind you in this time, the successors of the bishops that sent St. Patrick on this mission to Ireland were not rejoicing in all the good news that was being shared. No, they were angered that he was spending priority time with the “barbarians”, “sinners”, and “pagans”! Of course this happened to Jesus as well.

(Croagh Patrick, St. Patrick spent 40 days of fasting on this mountain in prayer for the people of Ireland)

The reason St. Patrick was so successful in his mission was because of his apostolic approach, it was more of a movement than an institution. His ministry was set up in a way to convert whole tribe’s not just individuals.  Because of his “mission stations” the faith was more caught than taught.  It is said that he baptized many thousands of people in his time as well as planting nearly 700 churches and ordaining close to 1,000 priests! With his strong mission movement St. Patrick was able to convert about 30-40 if not more, of the 150 tribes in Ireland!  Patrick also preached against slavery and was able to see the end of the Irish slave trade in his time.

Remember these “barbarians” that no one wanted to approach?  Do you have any one in you life that you look at as impossible to reach?  May the life of St. Patrick inspire you and show you that nothing is impossible with the Living God.  His ministry lasted 28 years, but because the model that he left, many were able to be saved years later.

Irish Prayer:

Three folds of the cloth, yet only one napkin is there,

Three joints in the finger, but still only one finger fair;

Three leaves of the shamrock, yet no more than one shamrock to wear,

Frost, snow-flakes and ice, all in water their origin share,

Three Persons in God, to one God alone we make prayer.

Well with that being said, I will be going on my FIRST MISSIONS TRIP TOMORROW!  My wife and I will be going to Mexicali with our church for a week!  I am really excited and can’t wait to serve and minister the good news! Pray for us this week.

God Bless,

Patrick Judah

p.s. check out this IHOP St. Patrick’s celebration!

Source:  The  Celtic Way of Evangelism: How Christianity Can Reach the  Wes... by  George G. Hunter III The Celtic Way of Evangelism: How Christianity Can Reach the West…Again – George G. Hunter III

Source:  Sixteen Centuries With Ireland’s Patron Saint Patrick- Alice-Boyd Proudfoot

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The Saint, Not the Day Pt. 1

“The Lord opened the understanding of my unbelieving heart, so that I should recall my sins.” St. Patrick

Because this week is celebrated in memory of St. Patrick, this will be the first of three articles of the Saint’s life.  Consider this a, “mystic of the month BONUS” for those of you that follow the site.  In this post I will cover Ireland before Saint Patrick and Patrick before his Sainthood. To start I would like to clear up some things related to the day of Saint Patrick that have nothing to do with the man of God or his amazing ministry.

If you think you know all about St. Patrick, let’s get one thing straight…Saint Patrick was not Irish! I know it sounds crazy, so if you thought he was, you might get more out of this article than you expected!

Have you ever thought about why there are no other Saint “days” observed (not counting St. Valentine), what makes Saint Patrick so special as to have his own feast and celebration day? If you can answer that, I would then like to ask why this day is observed in places across the world?  Now, here in a America I’ve “celebrated” St. Patrick’s day just like most Americans…using it as another excuse to get wasted by slamming down “Irish Car Bombs”.  Yes, in the name of a saint that I thought I knew all about!  I thought he was all about: The color green, Guinness n Baileys’ Irish Cream, shamrocks, leprechauns, and casting out snakes…I was wrong!

Let us take a look at Ireland before St. Patrick arrived.  The land was filled with a variety of Celtic “clans” that were very prideful, which caused a 1,000 year war between the clans and kingdoms of that territory.  Each clan was fierce on its own, but they were never able to unify in order to advance against Rome.  One way to look at it came from a zoologist:

“A tiger will defeat a lion in battle; but five lions will defeat five tigers because the lions fight together and the tigers do not, so the five lions take on one tiger at a time.”1

The Celtic clans were “tigers” fighting the Roman “lions” so to speak.  The Roman army eventually pushed the Celtic clans west, close to their current locations.  The clans grew and prospered individually.  The religion at the time was an animistic polytheism, which worshiped sun and moon as well as natural objects.  The leaders were known as druids; they had white robes, magic wands, and sacrificed their firstborns to the idol, Crom Crauch.  Note that each clan was distinct from one another and they did not do everything the same. To the outside “world”, these Celtic people looked like “barbarians”. This is a point as to why Christianity did not impact Ireland until St. Patrick landed there.  The Roman Church in that day thought a people had to be “civilized” enough before they could be “Christianized”.  It is believed that Christians came to evangelize in Ireland before St. Patrick, such as Palladius who was ordained by Pope Celestine to do so; as well as others that may have been taken captive there.  Of course no one was able to spread the Gospel through Ireland like St. Patrick did.

Now, let us glance at Patrick before he was a Saint in Ireland.  Patrick was born in the village of Bannavem Taberniae (exact location unknown), to a Christian family.  It is said that his father was a deacon, and his grandfather a priest.  With this being said, there is not much known about Patrick’s early family life, but I would guess that he grew up knowing a little bit about the Bible.  When Patrick was sixteen years of age, he was captured by Celtic pirates and taken away to Ireland.  He was then sold to a tribal chief named Miliucc, who put him to work tending his flocks.   Remarkably, it was in this time that Patrick drew near to God. He said in his own writings,

“Now, after I came to Ireland, tending flocks was my daily occupation, and constantly I used to pray in the day time.  Love of God and the fear of Him increased more and more, and faith grew, and the spirit was moved, so that in one day I would say as many as a hundred prayers, and at night nearly as many, so that I used to stay even in the woods and on the mountain to this end.  And before daybreak I used to be roused to prayer, in snow, in frost, in rain; and I felt no hurt, nor was there any sluggishness in me.”2

Sounds like day and night prayer to me!  Then one night after his six years of captivity, he heard the voice of God. “Thou fastest to good purpose, thou who art soon to go to thy fatherland.” Again he heard, “Lo, thy ship is ready.” So at daybreak he took off and eventually found the ship!  At first he talked to the Captain, by offering his service, but in reply he got, “On no account seek to go with us.” Patrick, disappointed started to walk away when he heard them call him back.  The sailors received him saying, “Come, for we will receive thee in good faith; make friends with us in any way thou desirest.” Sounds like some favor to me! So the ship took off and Patrick made his way back to his homeland.

Join me next time as I will be continuing the journey of St. Patrick from his time back “home”, to his exciting missionary trip back to his slave land that he ended up making his lifelong mission field and resting place.  I’ll tell you one thing, his time in slavery was not in vain!

Until next time,

Patrick Judah

Source:  The Celtic Way of Evangelism: How Christianity Can Reach the  Wes... by George G. Hunter III The Celtic Way of Evangelism: How Christianity Can Reach the West…Again – George G. Hunter III

Source:  Sixteen Centuries With Ireland’s Patron Saint Patrick- Alice-Boyd Proudfoot



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