Thank God for Patrick!

Merwin VanDoornik

READ : Matthew 28:16-20

He wasn’t an Irishman. He wasn’t born on March 17. He was not canonized (made a saint) by the Roman Catholic Church. He never visited Dublin and he never drove any snakes out of Ireland. Sure and ‘tis enough to make any Irishman say, “Begorrah, and I thought he was a gintleman and came of dacent people!”

Not much is known about Patrick: we surmise that he was born in 389 in Scotland. At age 16, a raiding expedition from Ireland carried him to the Emerald Isle as a slave. That experience set him to thinking about God: he believed his sufferings were punishment for his careless life. The next step was turning to God. He later wrote: “I would say as much as a hundred prayers a day while looking after the pigs.”

After six years of slavery, he escaped on a ship loaded with dogs and in three days was reunited with his family. But a restlessness set in. “In the night I hear the voice of the Irish calling, `We pray you, holy youth, come and from now on walk among us.’”

He returned to Ireland. Many Irish people now know Jesus because Patrick had a concern for their salvation. You and I know Christ because people had the same concern for us. Have we thanked them recently? Have we thanked God for them?


“I bind unto myself today the power of God to hold and lead, His eye to watch, His might to stay, His ear to harken to my need….” (Patrick)