March Devotionals—Patrick of Ireland: A Devotional History
|Slemish, County Antrim|
In the early part of March considerable attention is given to the memory of St. Patrick in the run-up to the celebrations on the 17th March. St. Patrick’s Day celebrations are now a worldwide phenomenon and growing every year. Irish mythology is brought to life in the streets of many cities as green-coloured leprechauns parade under green bunting and drink green beer. City fountains bubble up with green water, major rivers run green, and multitudes sport shamrocks and green face paint. It is just another opportunity for a shindig, an Irish pastime!
Most of what is commonly believed about Patrick is false. He never chased the snakes out of Ireland, never mentioned the Church in Rome in his writings, and was never officially canonized by the Roman Catholic Church. Roman Catholic historians have to admit that there is no satisfactory proof that he was ever sent from Rome. However, setting aside all the myth and mystery of Patrick—and there’s lots of it—and setting aside the celebrations that have no relation to this ancient saint, let’s get to the heart of Patrick’s story.