St. Patrick: The Rest of the Amazing Story You Never Knew!

March 18, 2011 at 7:19 AM 2 comments

{Did you check out my first post about Saint Patrick? If not, go check it out now and see where this amazing man comes from and how he ended up the hero of Ireland! If you’re back for the rest of his story, please leave a comment and let me know what you think!}

Things were not going to be a cakewalk for Patrick and the group of brothers.  A man named Palladius had already been commissioned to go to Ireland and spread the Gospel, and had been so intimidated by the Druid priests and chieftains that he had fled  in terror.  But Patrick was not disheartened.  

Now, what do you imagine was one of Patrick’s first objective when he arrived back in Ireland?  Did he build a church?  Meet with the king?  Cast out demons?  Wage battle against the Druids?

No.  Patrick returned to the home of his former master, Michlu, with enough money to buy his freedom properly from his former master. He went back to the man who had bought him like livestock to serve him, to give him back his money.  On his way, however, he met a chieftain named Dishu, who had heard of Patrick and had come out to block him and prevent his mission.  But when Dishu drew his sword to strike Patrick, he found his arm frozen, as if carved from stone!  And it would not be freed until Dishu promised to serve Patrick.  This was one of Patrick’s first miracles.  

When Patrick reached Michlu’s home, he found it smoldering in ashes and smoke.  It turned out that poor Michlu had heard of Patrick’s arrival and was afraid that Patrick was coming to destroy him.  And rather than meet with Patrick and admit to the wrongdoings he had done against Patrick, Michlu had decided to burn down his home, with himself inside it.

I cannot imagine how much that must have hurt Patrick.  He didn’t want to force Michlu to beg forgiveness — he was willing to offer that freely.  He didn’t want to kill Michlu — he wanted to share the Gospel with him.  He didn’t want to humble Michlu — he just wanted to make peace with him.

Shortly after Patrick arrived, the Druids planned to celebrate a festival that involved the extinguishing of any and all fires in the land until a holy blaze was lit on a high hill in honor of the fire god they revered.  This might have gone over smoothly were it not for the date they chose for this holiday — Easter Sunday.  

Patrick would have none of that.  So in retaliation, he and his brothers built their own Paschal bonfire on an opposite hillside, in direct defiance to the edict sent forth by the king and chieftains who supported the druids.  The Druids, furious at Patrick’s defiance, demanded he be taken prisoner.  

Patrick was not unknown to the Druids.  Not only were his miracles and teachings already famous, but the Druids’ own oracles had predicted his coming.  And they knew what an opposition he would present, not only to their religion, but also to the power they held over the country.

Several attempts were made, both by the king’s men and by the Druids, to quell the bonfire the brothers had built, as well as kill or injure Patrick.  But God showed favor on him and the fire blazed on, while Patrick escaped unscathed.  

Can you just imagine the terrible fear Patrick might have experienced at that time?  He, a foreigner and former slave, going up against a faith that had been rooted in this country for eons, and to which most of it’s people subscribed, on one of their greatest holidays.   No one there would know who Jesus was.  No one would understand what his Resurrection meant.  No one would recognize the importance of Easter in this country.  But rather than have a quiet celebratory Mass with only those who knew the Gospel, Patrick instead lit a whole hill on fire and showed the whole country the power and passion he had for Jesus.  He made himself, and his belief, well known in a very short amount of time.

The next day, Easter Monday, Patrick and the brothers proceeded, in ceremonial fashion, through town to the church to celebrate the holiday.  Once again, the Druids intercepted them and tried to frighten and intimidate Patrick and the brothers with demonstrations of how mighty their gods truly were.  

In one instance, they managed to summon a pitch-black cloud over the skies.  Patrick then encouraged them to make it clear.  They attempted repeatedly, but the dark cloud lingered on.  When they failed, Patrick prayed briefly and the cloud parted and bright sunlight came streaming through.  

In another instance, one of the Druids managed to levitate off the ground.  But when Patrick knelt to pray, the Druid’s powers failed him and he plummeted to the earth and was killed.  

Twice Patrick pleaded with the king to allow him to share the Christian faith throughout the land.  The second time, he illustrated the Holy Trinity using the three leaved shamrock, which is where the association comes from.  On this second visit to the king, he received permission to begin his teachings and proclamation of the Gospel.

Patrick served in Ireland as a missionary of Jesus from 428 to 493.  On March 17th, at the age of approximately 106, he passed away, leaving a country whom he had both hated and loved rich in faith and devotion to Jesus Christ and the Holy Trinity.  

Patrick is my standard with regards to courage.  The man had the strength to stand up to a country and people who kidnapped him, devalued him, sold him, used him, long after he was free from their abuses, and still he came back to share the love he had for them through his love for Jesus.  He stood up against an old religion that had been born and believed in that country for generations, to explain a really very new faith (considering at this point that Christianity was only 400 years old!).  He devoted his life to spreading a faith in a language he had only come to learn after six years of slavery.  And he did it all through compassion, faith, and love.

Now that, my friends, is courage.

{It seems only fitting, after hearing a story of a man so rich in courage, that I should mention my friend Niall, a charming young Irishman himself, and his Course in Courage.  Niall has already done an amazing challenge earlier in the year entitled Random Acts of Courage which turned out to be quite a success.  Niall hasn’t asked me to mention his course yet, but after the story of Patrick’s amazing courage and his determination to defeat circumstances over and over again, it felt very fitting.  So please check out Niall’s blog and course!  I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised!}

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St. Patrick: The Amazing Story You Never Knew! Link Love Round-Up, March 13-19

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Niall Doherty  |  March 18, 2011 at 8:37 AM

    Wow, thanks for that Nada! I mean both the story and the linkage! I actually didn’t know much about St. Patrick myself, despite growing up in Ireland. I thought we was simply the guy who got rid of all the snakes in Ireland.

    I’m liking the new look of the blog, btw. Very nice 🙂

    • 2. mamasheppard  |  March 18, 2011 at 9:58 AM

      You’re welcome, Niall! Your course debut totally worked with my post, so I figured I’d give you a shout-out! Thanks for the compliment on the site. It’s a work in progress!


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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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