If you walked through the school this past Wednesday, you would have seen many students and teachers wearing green in recognition of St. Patrick’s Day, a celebration of Ireland, and a day to honour a man called by God to do His work here on earth.
Did you know that St. Patrick wasn’t Irish? He was born in Britain around A.D. 390, to Christian parents. Despite growing up in a Christian home, it is said that Patrick was an atheist.
When he was 16, Patrick was captured by a group of Irish raiders and taken to Ireland where he spent six years in captivity working as a herdsman. During this time, he realized how much he needed to hope in something better, and he turned to God for help and solace.
Patrick dreamed of his escape, a dream that he believed came from God. One day the opportunity arrived and Patrick was able to return to Britain. Later, in another dream, Patrick heard God’s voice telling him to become a missionary. After his ordination as priest, God called him to return to Ireland to minister to the Christians there and to also convert the Irish, many of whom practiced a nature-based pagan religion. That Patrick was able to serve, care for, and love in a country in which he was held captive, is a wonderful example of grace and forgiveness.
Not only was Patrick instrumental in the growth and development of Christianity in Ireland, he was also God’s instrument, being the hands and feet of Jesus.
We don’t know how God is going to use us, but we do know that he has a plan for our lives, and he may surprise us by calling us to something that we least expect. Our response? To do what he requires: act justly, love kindness, and walk humbly with him (Micah 6:8), and to remember that Christ is always with us.
Take a moment to listen to this beautiful hymn based on the Breastplate Prayer of St. Patrick.
Sara Flokstra, Vice-principal