MIGHTY MAN OF GOD!
"I am Patrick, a sinner, most unlearned, the least of all the faithful, and utterly despised by many." "I was like a stone lying in the deep mire; and He that is Mighty came and in His mercy lifted me up." (PATRICK OF IRELAND)
A few years ago, I wrote a gospel Tract for the St. Patrick's Day Parade and had 7000 printed for distribution (most of which were handed out to thousands of parade goers here in Springfield, Illinois). For most of the last decade, up to a month ago, our men's ministry owned a 1955 Classic American La France Fire engine pumper and we used that as a hook to attract hundreds of thousands to the Cross of Christ.
My reason for writing my own tracts, (which I do from time to time) was to show an entire generation of people here that Patrick of Ireland is NOT about getting drunk on green beer each year; doing outrageous things to get green beads or eating corned beef. In fact, none of that stuff is Irish and/or Christian.
Born in the year 390 AD in England, Patrick was kidnapped by Irish Pirates and sold into slavery on the Emerald Isle around the age of 16. He was the son of a deacon but according to his own writings, he really cared nothing for God! All of this changed once he experienced slavery in Ireland. By the way, this selling into slavery thing sounds a lot like Joseph's brother selling Joseph into slavery, from the Book of Genesis!
"I must not, however, hide God's gift which He bestowed upon me in the land of my captivity (... the gift so great, so salutary - to know God and to love Him...); because then I earnestly sought Him, and there I found Him, and He saved me from all evil because - so I believe - of His Spirit that dwells in me...."(Patrick of Ireland)
This call, according to Patrick's own words in his famous letter "Confessio" (or DECLARATION): "I saw a man coming, as it were from Ireland. His name was Victoricus, and he carried many letters, and he gave me one of them. I read the heading: "The Voice of the Irish". As I began the letter, I imagined in that moment that I heard the voice of those very people who were near the wood of Foclut, which is beside the western sea—and they cried out, as with one voice: "We appeal to you, holy servant boy, to come and walk among us"
I arise today
Through the strength of heaven:
Light of sun
Brilliance of moon
Splendor of fire
Speed of lightning
Swiftness of wind
Depth of sea
Stability of earth
Firmness of rock.
I arise today
Through God’s strength to pilot me:
God’s might to uphold me,
God’s wisdom to guide me
God’s eye to look before me,
God’s ear to hear me,
God’s word to speak for me,
God’s hand to guard me,
God’s way to lie before me,
God’s host to secure me
against snares of devils
against temptations of vices
against inclinations of nature
against everyone who shall wish me ill,
afar and anear,
alone and in a crowd...(from the LORICA, by Patrick)
Patrick fought the evil druids and pagans of Ireland for many years through Prayer and Preaching the Truth from the Gospel of Christ. He baptized thousands of adults and children including kings, judges and men and women of all walks of life. As a real man of God, he refused to take payment from Kings for his ministry work. He is also credited for making Ireland a Christian country, lo, these many years ago.
Many things are associated with Patrick, including the Legend of the Snakes, where he is said to have banished all the snakes from Ireland via prayer and a 40 Day Fast. This has been in doubt. According to National Geographic etc, there were never any snakes in Ireland except a viviparous legless lizard. What they could have been referring to is the Serpent of old - Satan! The pagan druids had snakes as their symbols to honor their own god - the serpent of the Garden of Eden. Those are the "snakes" Patrick defeated and drove out of business!
The most famous symbol of St. Patrick's Day is the Shamrock! Legend is Patrick used the extremely beautiful greenery and three leafed Shamrock to teach all of Ireland about the Divine Trinity of God - Father, Son and Holy Spirit! The color Green is an expression of life, spiritual rebirth and eternal life.
In brief, this is the real story of Patrick of Ireland...the same man of God, whom too many, especially here in the United States, use as an outrageous excuse for lewd and public drunkenness in cities across this country.
Christ to protect me today
against poison, against burning,
against drowning, against wounding,
so that there may come abundance of reward.
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 where I lie, Christ where I sit, Christ where I arise
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of every man 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 Thrones,
Through confession of the Oneness
Towards the Creator.
Salvation is of the Lord
Salvation is of the Lord
Salvation is of Christ
May thy salvation, O Lord, be ever with us (Lorica)