Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patty's Day!

History of St. Patrick

Born to wealthy parents in England around 370 AD, Maewyn Succat, as he was first named, was brought up in the Christian tradition. When he was 16 years old he was kidnapped by a band of pirates and sold into slavery in Ireland. For six years he was either imprisoned or tending sheep and during this time he turned to God and it is said, prayed over a hundred times a day. Then, when moved by the Spirit he walked over 200 miles to the coast and boarded a ship going to France. He soon escaped to England and began religious training. During his fifteen years in school he reported God came to him and told him to return to Ireland to bring the gospel to the pagans there and to support the Christians already there. When he was ordained a Bishop he was given the name "Patrick" and he left to minister to the Irish. Instead of eradicating their pagan beliefs he attempted to use some of their symbos to educate in or celebrate Christianity. For instance, he used the three leaf clover as an analogy of the Trinity, and he put a sun (an important pagan symbol) behind the cross to help them more easily receive it. He died on March 17th 460 AD and was later canonized.

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