Saturday, March 17, 2012

A Lesson On St. Patrick for St. Pats Day

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!!!

One of Christianity's most widely known figures is St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. St. Patrick was not actually Irish he was born to a wealthy British family near the end of the fourth century. St. Patrick's Day is celebrated on March 17 the day that St.. Patrick is believed to have died in 460 A.D. For over 1000 years the Irish have observed this day as a religious holiday.

At the age of 16 Patrick was taken prisoner by a group of Irish raiders that attacked his family's estate. He was transported to Ireland where he spent six years in captivity. While in being held prisoner he worked as a shephard, outdoors and away from people. He became a devote Christian while lonely and afraid he had turned to his religion for solace.

Patrick escaped captivity, when according to his writings, a voice-that he believed to be God's-spoke to him in a dream. The voice told him that it was time for him to leave Ireland. After escaping Patrick walked nearly 200 miles from County Mayo, where it is believed he was held, to the coast of Ireland. Once back in Britain, Patrick had a dream in which an angel told him to return to Ireland as a missionary. Patrick then began religious training that lasted for 15 years. Once he was ordained as a pries he was sent to Ireland to minister to Christians already in Ireland and to convert the rest of the Irish.

Patrick chose to incorporate some traditional Celtic rituals, honoring their gods with fire, into his lessons. Patrick created the Celtic cross by superimposing a son onto the Christian cross. He did this so that veneration of the symbol would feel more natural to the Irish because the sun was a powerful Irish symbol. Although there was a small number of Christians already on the island most of the Irish practiced a nature-based pagan religion. About two hundred years after the arrival of St.. Patrick Ireland was completely Christianized with the predominant religion being C

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