Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Saint Patrick You Never Knew

“…The saints are for everyone—believer, unbeliever, Christian, non-Christian—it doesn't really matter. They are the people who say by their lives that human life is valuable—that my life is valuable—and that there is a reason for living. Without them, history would just be one horror after another."

“Some 1,500 years ago a teenage boy from what is now Great Britain was kidnapped and enslaved … . Not since Paris absconded with Helen of Troy has a kidnapping so changed the course of history.

And so it was that a young Briton named Patricius died an Irishman named Patrick. And neither Ireland nor Christianity was ever quite the same.”

From an interview with author Thomas Cahill in St. Anthony Messenger, “The Saint Patrick You Never Knew”.

  • St. Patrick is the first male Christian since Jesus to praise women, speaking of women as individuals, lauding their strength and courage.
  • St. Patrick is the first human being in the history of the world to speak out unequivocally against slavery.
  • A better advocate than St. Patrick cannot be found for anyone disadvantaged, living on the fringes of society, or excluded—people that no one else wants anything to do with.
  • A mystic who felt the presence of God in every turn of the road.
  • It is Patrick's conversion of Ireland that makes possible the preservation of Western thought through the early Dark Ages by the Irish monasteries founded by Patrick's successors.
  • The first to introduce Christianity outside Greco-Roman civilization.
  • By converting the Irish to Christianity without making any attempt to romanize them as well, he founded a new kind of Church, one that was both Catholic and primitive. More joyful and celebratory (than its Roman predecessor) in the way it approaches the natural world. Not a theology of sin but of the goodness of creation.

When Irish eyes are smiling,
Sure, 'tis like the morn in Spring.
In the lilt of Irish laughter
You can hear the angels sing.
When Irish hearts are happy,
All the world seems bright and gay.
And when Irish eyes are smiling,
Sure, they steal your heart away.
(by Chauncey Olcott and George Graff, Jr.)

Beannachtaí Lá Fhéile Pádraig
(Blessings of St. Patrick’s Day!)

Caregivingly Yours, Patrick Leer
web site: http://caregivinglyyours.com/
videos: http://www.youtube.com/daddyleer
musings: Patrick Ponders ...


  1. I love this post today. St Patrick's Day has never been about the drinking. (Hugs)Indigo

  2. I'm late here, but hope it was a good day for you, Patrick; I learned some interesting facts about the patron saint of Ireland that I didn't know before; thanks for sharing them :)



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