St. Patrick’s Day was recently celebrated on 17 March. History speaks of Patrick’s family having fled from Jerusalem to Britain in 70AD. Patrick was born around 389AD & raised in a Christian family. A prodigal who did not follow Jesus; at age 16, he was captured by pagan Irish raiders, taken to Ireland & sold as a slave. He spent his teenage years on a hillside tending sheep. It was then that he turned to God, prayed constantly & as his faith grew, his spirit was stirred & his love & fear of God increased. God spoke prophetically, telling him to return home & study the Bible. Finally God spoke again, & told him to return to Ireland to bring that land to Jesus.
The Celtic Church Patrick planted didn’t believe as Catholics believe! They didn’t believe in purgatory, didn’t honour the pope, didn’t pray to Mary, their priests & monks married & had children, they baptised believers in water by immersion, they observed Passover & the Sabbath, & they placed strong emphasis on every Christian thoroughly knowing The Word of God. What Patrick did in Ireland & beyond, changed the world! In 30 years of ministry, he ‘converted’ a whole land from paganism, overturning the religion of the druids; consecrated 350 bishops, erected 700 churches, ordained 5,000 priests; the church frequently saw miracles & people raised from the dead.
By understanding who Patrick really was, we will gain new faith, Kingdom perspective & restoration of God’s power to the Church.

Contributed by Margaret Hoyle