Saturday, March 16, 2013

With Apologies to Saint Paddy....

Dear Brother Saint Patrick,

Did you know what the world is doing today in your name? Today there will be so many drinking and getting intoxicated in honor of you, old friend. Will there be accidents and people killed for "having too much (Irish) fun?" I speak as (at least a partially) Irish woman. Their ignorance of what you went to go to Ireland for is, to them, bliss, I suppose. They really have no idea who you were or what you stood for.

I really didn't either until I took some time to research your life. I didn't know you didn't come from Ireland, but Britain. I also didn't know that you were kidnapped as a teenager by Irish raiders. Here is where I have to make a personal apology to you, Patrick. My maiden name is Irish. I happened to get out a library book about Irish names and what they meant. When I looked up my maiden name, it said that my ancestors may have been the ones to ....gasp!!...kidnap you, dear brother, and take you to Ireland in the first place!!

{*I discovered this in the book: Clans and Families of Ireland: The Heritage and Heraldry of Irish Clans and Families by John Grenham, published by Wellfleet Press, 1993.}

Somehow, though, from your place in heaven, I don't think you would be angry with me for telling you this. You see, you told us that you were a pagan at the time you were kidnapped. You didn't come to faith in Christ until you were herding the sheep on the rolling, rainy green hills of Ireland. In your hours of desperation, it was then that you prayed to the Christian God, who answered and heard your prayers.

Suddenly, the kidnapping of you, Patrick, had a reason. Those people who had stolen you from Britain had never heard of Jesus and his redeeming sacrifice. They were pagans, and needed to hear. You were the man to tell them.

You also taught them to read and write. It wasn't long until your home country of Britain was invaded by barbarians and the Dark Ages descended upon Europe, but you had taught the Celts well. God sent you, there, brother.

Who knows what would have happened if those crazy seafaring Irish warriors hadn't snatched you that day? God took a pagan teenage British boy and turned you into a missionary for a country who had never heard the name of Christ. You had a big part in preserving civilization, too.

But somehow, as in most all other holidays, the truth gets twisted. It becomes an excuse for getting drunk. Scripture warns believers though:

Eph 5:18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;

Patrick, people, even believers, may think there is no fun in that, but that isn't true. There are nine fruits that we can "imbibe of" as much we want, there is no rule against them:

Gal 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
5: 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

So I thank you for allowing God to use you in His great plan of evangelism and preservation. I thank you that in your writings you point not to yourself, shamrocks, and leprechauns, but to Christ. I am looking forward to meeting you in heaven, brother,

in Christ alone

Oh Lord, we await the greenery here, like in the land of Ireland. Green speaks of your unmerited grace to mankind. May knowing Patrick's true purpose in the "land o' the green" give us courage to spread Your light in the darkness (Matt.5:14-16) as well. Amen.

+Dedicated to JEV, who once loved studying Patrick.


  1. Wow! How amazing is our God who can turn a negative into a positive. It's my prayer that he can do that with every St. Patty's day to come.

    What a great post!

  2. Dear Wise Wife,
    You are a living testimony to the truth of that statement, and an inspiration to me, and many others! May the Lord bless you for your + attitude, always!