ST. PATRICK TODAY

When the Roman soldiers withdrew from Ireland —

Romans in Britain

—    their protection,  their Roman administration,  and much of the Christian religion  also left the island.      Warring tribal clans ruled.

They left behind ruins in this beautiful green place –

roman fort

It’s still a beautiful green place with distinctive scenery.    This has become one of the most famous places to visit.

pat mount

Especially on March 17th.

pat climbing up

People walk up this mountain,  which gets impossibly steep the farther you go.

It’s a difficult, steep,  stony path.

pat dfifficult

Many people,  mostly men,  make the trek  barefoot.

pat barefoot

They know they’ll shred their feet,  but many still do it in spite of discouragement from the officials.   They want to climb the mountain  in whatever way is meaningful to them.

The mountain is Croagh Patrick,  and St. Patrick is said to have climbed it to look out over his beloved island at “the end of the earth.”

He had been a boy living in Scotland,   then  kidnapped by pirates and sold to some clan chieftain in Ireland to tend the animals way out in the countryside.  The boy was lonely.     Unprotected from the elements.   Cold.  Hot.   Wet.   Unsheltered.     Uncared for by his master.

The rest of the story is familiar:   During these years young Patrick  turned to the God he had heard about when he lived  in his own father’s home.   By his own free will he chose to believe in the one Triune God,  and   God filled him with such love and grace that Patrick responded with complete loving surrender.

pat boat The story of his narrow escape from Ireland,  another kidnapping, another escape,  study and recognition, and desire to bring the knowledge of Jesus to the people of Ireland  would make a great movie!

 

pat st patrick

But what leads  all those people to climb Croagh Patrick  is his love for the Catholic faith,  his dedication to the Irish people,  his insights and instruction in his many writings in which we can see the heart of this great man.

Ireland became a Catholic land and sent out many missionaries to other lands that needed to hear the gospel.

People want the kind of faith that he had.    People want to be close to him and to be like him.    People want to understand what St. Patrick knew.   People want to become as close to God as St. Patrick was.

 

pat cathedral tribute to him

St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin, Ireland, a  tribute to the real St. Patrick.

Green beer,  green rivers,   shamrocks,  and snakes,   leprechauns and rainbows are all fun ways to remember this country,   but what is truly fulfilling for a human being is to rest in the peace and love  with the God that St. Patrick loved and taught us about.

That is a goal  worth climbing a mountain for!

 

pat past cute

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Explore posts in the same categories: Lessons from History, Liturgical Reading, Saints

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