St. Patrick: The Amazing Story You Never Knew!

March 17, 2011 at 4:09 PM 1 comment

{Ever start writing something and find you just can’t stop?! That’s where I found myself today — I was so excited to tell you the story of St. Patrick that I couldn’t stop writing it! In fact, I wrote so much that it became too big for one post. So check out the first half of the story here, and check back tomorrow for the rest!}

While the rest of the world revels in a day of green alcohol and leprechaun, I thought it might be a better idea to remember the man behind the holiday, and celebrate his day with his amazing story.

If there was ever a person to admire for courage, it was Patrick  .This man faced the unknown so many times, and came through in faith.  His secret?  He listened to God.  If you don’t know much about the historical man, please settle down for a cup of tea, because you are in for an amazing adventure!

You might imagine Patrick was a burly red-haired Irishman, but in truth, he was born and raised in England.  As a teenager, Patrick was intent on mischief and discovery, and like most people the Lord calls on, he did not start out his walk knowing “the true God”, as he puts it.

It was not uncommon for marauders to come ashore and ransack a town in that time, burning homes, stealing livestock and possessions, and capturing people to sell into slavery.  At the age of sixteen, Patrick’s village was attacked, and he, among others, was captured, and stolen away from his family, to Ireland.

He was sold to a man named Michlu, whom some say was a Druid priest.  During the first few months, Patrick earned the trust of his master, and was given the bittersweet responsibility of herding Michlu’s sheep.  I say bittersweet because as herdsman, he had more freedom to roam the countryside and explore his new country, but outside chasing the occasional wolf from his flock and rounding up the occasional stray, there was little for Patrick to do.  But being a man of faith, he used his time wisely — he prayed.  Through all hours, days, emotions, weather, tasks, Patrick prayed.  He just talked to God.

And then, one day, God started talking back.  In fact, after six years of slavery, the Lord tells Patrick, “Your ship is ready” and gave him a vision of a ship awaiting him that was set to sail to England.

So Patrick snuck away from the home of Michlu and started out.He walked about 200 miles.

Now, think about this for a second.  A young man, who was kidnapped six years ago, and is now 22 years old, in a strange country, who escapes from his master and wanders the countryside for days (it takes approximately a week for him to walk 200 miles, through Irish countryside without paved roads, and likely in the dark to avoid being caught) to find a ship he’s only ever seen in a vision, and has no certainty of its existence except what he has seen in his own head.  What if that ship wasn’t there?  What if he couldn’t get aboard it?  What if he gets caught?  What would Michlu do to him?  Or would he be sold to someone who is crueller than Michlu?   What if instead of working as a herdsman, he had to work in a mine or a well?  Or worse, thrown into prison?  Or even worse, killed?

Now, after several days, Patrick finally reached the ship, and it was there, just as the Lord had promised him.  It was difficult to get aboard, but he eventually convinced them to take him and they set sail to France first, and then to England.

There is some debate as to what Patrick did next.  I like to think he went back to see his home and family.  But he did spend several years under the tutelage of St. Germain, and was ordained as a priest.  After this, Patrick did much missionary work and would likely have been contented with this, except for one thing: he kept having dreams in which he heard the voices of the children of Ireland calling out to him.  “Oh holy youth, come and walk amongst us in Ireland once more!”  He dreamed of letters as well, begging him to return.

Can you imagine the emotions Patrick must have experienced?  A recurring dream of returning to a people who had robbed him of his life, his family, his youth, his potential future as a husband, his future children?  He never knew his younger siblings.  He never got to enjoy a family of his own.  He never got to serve at his home church or run for politics for his village.  He never got to care for his elderly parents.

His youth had been devoted to serving someone he had never wished to meet.  He had been sold, like property, to another man.  To them, he had no more value than a chair or a chamberpot.  He had been sent out to watch this man, Michlu’s, sheep.  He was forced to stay out in the hot sun, the freezing rain, the cold nights, raising and guarding the sheep, for no income.

And now, he is being called to return to those people again and serve them again.  But this time, he wasn’t any man’s servant — he was a servant of the Lord.  He wasn’t to be captured and sold as a slave — he was following the instructions of his Master.  He wasn’t going to guard sheep — he would be guarding the souls of Ireland.

And he went.  Without argument or protest.  Without being dragged or sold.  He simply remembered his dreams, waited until the opportunity arose, and when Pope Celestine I summoned him to go, he agreed, gathered up a group of religious brothers, and went.

{Isn’t this just so interesting? I can’t wait to tell you more about it tomorrow! Check back and find out!}

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Hurrah For Real Milk! St. Patrick: The Rest of the Amazing Story You Never Knew!

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Greetings and Salutations!


miniMOMist is an account of Mike, Nada and Naomi's journey into realistic minimalism, with the goal centered around simple living, and enjoying each other rather than things. We are a faith-based family and blog about our belief in God regularly. Our love for one another and our passion for a simple, minimalist life brings us much joy and pleasure.

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