Saturday, March 17, 2007

Saint Patrick, the true fruits of a Servant of Christ.....

Saint Patrick, the true fruits of a Servant of Christ.....
Who is St. Patrick?  Well much about him is shrouded in either in legends and hearsay but for sure he has had an impact on a enormously important tribe of people who have had an very significant Catholic Christian influence in America and in particular California.  When a Protestant President, Abraham Lincoln deeded the old California Missions and it lands back to the Catholic Church after the United States gained control of California from Mexico, the Irish Catholic Missionary Priests came in droves and resurrected the Missions build by Catholics from Spain and destroyed by the anticlerical Mexican government after they gained their independence form Spain. 
What do we know about St. Patrick?  Well let me get some help here from
St. Patrick
Legends about Patrick abound; but truth is best served by our seeing two solid qualities in him: He was humble and he was courageous. The determination to accept suffering and success with equal indifference guided the life of God's instrument for winning most of Ireland for Christ.
Details of his life are uncertain. Current research places his dates of birth and death a little later than earlier accounts. Patrick may have been born in Dunbarton, Scotland, Cumberland, England, or in northern Wales. He called himself both a Roman and a Briton. At 16, he and a large number of his father's slaves and vassals were captured by Irish raiders and sold as slaves in Ireland. Forced to work as a shepherd, he suffered greatly from hunger and cold.
After six years, Patrick escaped, probably to France, and later returned to Britain at the age of 22. His captivity had meant spiritual conversion. He may have studied at Lerins, off the French coast; he spent years at Auxerre, France, and was consecrated bishop at the age of 43. His great desire was to proclaim the Good News to the Irish.
In a dream vision it seemed "all the children of Ireland from their mothers' wombs were stretching out their hands" to him. He understood the vision to be a call to do mission work in pagan Ireland. Despite opposition from those who felt his education had been defective, he was sent to carry out the task. He went to the west and north, where the faith had never been preached, obtained the protection of local kings and made numerous converts.
Because of the island's pagan background, Patrick was emphatic in encouraging widows to remain chaste and young women to consecrate their virginity to Christ. He ordained many priests, divided the country into dioceses, held Church councils, founded several monasteries and continually urged his people to greater holiness in Christ.
He suffered much opposition from pagan druids, and was criticized in both England and Ireland for the way he conducted his mission.
In a relatively short time the island had experienced deeply the Christian spirit, and was prepared to send out missionaries whose efforts were greatly responsible for Christianizing Europe.
Patrick was a man of action, with little inclination toward learning. He had a rocklike belief in his vocation, in the cause he had espoused.
One of the few certainly authentic writings is his Confessio, above all an act of homage to God for having called Patrick, unworthy sinner, to the apostolate.
There is hope rather than irony in the fact that his burial place is said to be in strife-torn Ulster, in County Down.
Bottom Line St. Patrick whose family had Slaves, became a forced Slave of the Irish Pirates and after escaping from them became out of love became a Slave of Christ and of his own volition returned to serve the Irish as a their Slave.  This St. Patrick did for the love of Christ and to serve as an instrument of Christ's Love for the salvation of  the Souls in Ireland. 
Indeed the Irish fruit of St. Patrick has blossomed like that of the "Mustard Seed"!  California's distinctive charm and Mission architecture can be traced to St. Patrick.  His legacy is also the Catholic Faith which is fervent in parts of California: at Parishes like St. Mary's by the Sea in Huntington Beach which under the direction of Father Daniel Johnson re-introduced me and thousands of Post Vatican II Catholics to the beautiful Tridentine Latin High Mass (Missal in English/Latin) seen here and here aka traditional Roman Rite Mass in Latin which I believe may still celebrated at
St. Cyprian's Parrish in Long Beach which is the founder of the St. Joseph: Protector of the Holy Family Catholic Family Conference.  Additionally California is the home of Norbertine Priests and Brothers who run St. Michael's Prepatory School and live at St. Michael's Abby in Siverado, home to the Catholic Apologetics group known as Catholic Answers founded by Karl Keating and home to St. Joseph's Radio among other works of the Holy Spirit.
I love the story that St. Patrick taught the Irish People the concept of a the Trinity by using a Three Leaf Shamrock or Clover. Well done thy good and faithful servant....I think I'll go to Mass instead of disrepsecting St. Patrick like most people unfortunately do...

Bored stiff? Loosen up...
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