Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Ever wonder how Patrick himself might celebrate the day? Like many (or most) holidays, this day has become something very different from its original intent. Holiday celebrations tend to say more about the culture celebrating than the person or event celebrated.
At any rate, Patrick is a man whose reality has become shrouded in myth and legend. He was a British missionary to Ireland who spent most of his life preaching the Gospel there. Interestingly, he is not actually a Catholic saint – having never been officially canonized by a Pope. If you’re interested in knowing more about Patrick, you can read his autobiographical Confessions at Christian Classics Ethereal Library.
It is there Patrick recounts how the Lord changed his heart in preparation for his mission to take the Gospel to the Irish:
“On the other hand, I did not proceed to Ireland of my own accord until I was almost giving up, but through this I was corrected by the Lord, and he prepared me so that today I should be what was once far from me, in order that I should have the care of—or rather, I should be concerned for—the salvation of others, when at that time, still, I was only concerned for myself.“
Perhaps that gives some insight into how Patrick would spend the day – sharing the love and grace of God with others. Not a bad plan for the rest of us!