I am not Irish, but I love St. Patrick’s Day. I love it not because of the celebrations, although green beer and parades are always fun! I love the day because I have come to believe that St. Patrick is one of my favorite saints, and his prayer is probably my favorite prayers attributed to any saint or theologian.
We don’t know a lot about St. Patrick before the time of his preaching in Ireland. We know he was a British native and was about 16 years old when pirates captured him. We also know he was a prisoner in Ireland for six years. It was during those six years as a prisoner, Patrick committed his life to follow and serve Jesus. He eventually escaped his prison, but years later, he felt led to return to Ireland and preach the Gospel.
I love that Patrick did not allow his imprisonment and suffering to allow him to become a bitter man. Instead, his love for Jesus and the peace he discovered in God’s presence gives us the example of what it means to have hope.
Hope…some say hope is a dangerous thing and can drive us insane. While others say hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things (paraphrase from The Shawshank Redemption). St. Patrick’s Breastplate or The Lorica reminds me that Patrick believed the latter!
So, on this St. Patrick’s Day, may we not just enjoy the celebrations, but may we remember to follow the God of Hope. And may we be saturated and marinated in His hope, peace and grace!
Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ on my right, Christ on my left, Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down, Christ when I arise, Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me, Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me, Christ in every eye that sees me, Christ in every ear that hears me.
I bind unto myself the Name, The strong Name of the Trinity, By invocation of the same, The Three in One and One in Three. By Whom all nature hath creation, Eternal Father, Spirit, Word: Praise to the Lord of my salvation, Salvation is of Christ the Lord.
(Excerpt from St. Patrick’s Breastplate)