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Minister's Moment

It is once again March, which means that it is time to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. St. Patrick has always fascinated me because I have enjoyed learning about and celebrating using Celtic spiritual practices for many years. Now, there are a lot of Celtic Saints, but St. Patrick gets the biggest billing, with his day, like St. Valentine’s Day, becoming a day that is celebrated not only in the Catholic church but in the secular world.


So, who is St. Patrick? Simply, he is the patron saint of Ireland. Patrick was born in Britain in the fifth century. When he was 16 years old, he was kidnapped and brought to Ireland as a slave. He later escaped but returned to Ireland to spread the gospel.


In the ninth or 10th century, a lot of interest surrounded the legend of St. Patrick. The main legend says that he banished the snakes from Ireland. The story goes that Patrick stood on a hillside and delivered a sermon that banished all the island’s serpents to the sea. To this day, Ireland is free of snakes, but there are many reasons that could be the case. Scholars believe that the snake story is an allegory for Patrick bringing Christianity and “driving pagan ideology” from Ireland.


St. Patrick is known for two important things – teaching about the Holy Trinity using a three-leafed clover and his prayer. St. Patrick’s prayer is beautiful, and I would like to share it with you. You can find the full prayer at https://www.irishcentral.com/roots/st-patricks-breastplate-prayer-irelands-patron-saint.



Below is perhaps the best-known and most-revered part of St. Patrick’s Prayer:


Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ on my right, Christ on my left, Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down, Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me, Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me, Christ in every eye that sees me, Christ in every ear that hears me. I arise today Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity, Through belief in the Threeness, Through confession of the Oneness Of the Lord of creation.


Beannacht De leat (Blessing of God be with you),

Ann

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