The story of Saint Patrick is a great story.
I think it’s one every Christian should know.
Because the story of Saint Patrick points us to the Gospel story.
Patrick lived in Britain in the 5th century A.D. He grew up in a Christian home, yet was not a believer.
At the age of sixteen Patrick was captured by a group of Irish pirates. He was taken to Ireland and enslaved.
Yet, it was in slavery that the Lord met Patrick.
Patrick received the Lord’s mercy and forgiveness and was forever changed. So changed, that he pursued God with a new passion. In The Confessions he writes:
“The love of God and his fear grew in me more and more, as did the faith, and my soul was rosed, so that, in a single day, I have said as many as a hundred prayers and in the night, nearly the same. I prayed in the woods and on the mountain, even before dawn. “
But that was only the beginning. After six years of slavery God gave Patrick a vision that led Patrick to freedom. Once free, Patrick returned to Britain and devoted his life to God.
He studied to become a priest and then a bishop. Then God gave Patrick a new vision–return to Ireland and preach the good news of Jesus Christ.
Now is his twenties Patrick, returned to Ireland. For 40 years he shared the good news of Jesus with the Irish. He suffered and endured many hardships. Yet in the end, God used him to convert thousands of people and plant many churches all over Ireland.
It’s a great story. And it’s a Gospel story.
Patrick knew he needed a Savior. Patrick knew what he had been saved from. Patrick knew he had received God’s grace. And because of that Patrick responded to God’s call to share God’s grace with others.
The story of Saint Patrick reminds us that at one time we, like Patrick, were all slaves…slaves to sin. That it was in our slavery that Jesus met us. Offered us forgiveness. Offered us freedom. And Jesus did all this so that we could pursue Him and help set others free.
So this Saint Patrick’s Day let us take a moment to meditate on Jesus’ gift of forgiveness and freedom. And let us take a moment to thank God for the grace he has shown us. Then maybe, just maybe, we might find our story becoming like Saint Patrick’s story. One that points others to the Gospel story.