Today is St. Patrick’s Day, and my (Pastor Molly’s) birthday! It’s why I am named Molly, though I have no Irish in me.
St. Patrick was born in an area northwest of modern day Glasgow, Scotland. March 17 is observed as the day of his death. Around age 14-16, he was captured by Irish pirates during a raiding party and taken to Ireland as a slave to herd and tend sheep. Far from home, he clung to the religion he had ignored as a teenager. Patrick prayed hundreds of prayers every night and morning. He prayed in the woods and on mountains. Around the age of 20, he escaped slavery after having a dream from God in which he was told to leave Ireland by going to the coast. There he found some sailors who took him back to Britain and was reunited with his family.
He became a priest and returned to the land of his captivity in his 40’s to share the gospel. Patrick often used shamrocks to explain the Holy Trinity and entire kingdoms were eventually converted to Christianity after hearing Patrick’s message. The Celts of Ireland were the first major people group to be evangelized successfully without violence.
Prayer: “The Breastplate,” St. Patrick’s poem of faith and trust in God:
“Christ be within me, Christ behind me, Christ before me, Christ beside me, Christ to win me, Christ to comfort and restore me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ inquired, Christ in danger, Christ in hearts of all that love me, Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.”