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

{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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March 18, 2011 at 7:19 AM 2 comments

St. Patrick: The Amazing Story You Never Knew!

{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!}

March 17, 2011 at 4:09 PM 1 comment

Hurrah For Real Milk!

Strawberry Dream

Photo Credit: tesKing

We do not drink milk. But we do cook and bake with it.  And like all our dietary choices, we look for whole, real, nourishing foods.

In Nova Scotia, it is illegal to sell raw milk.  Most milk is both homogenized and pasteurized.  But to our great joy, one dairy in our province has started selling delicious, rich and creamy milk that is not homogenized.  It comes in lovely glass bottles that we can return when we purchase more.  I love the look of the thick cream at the top, and feel good about adding it to our baked goods and sauces.

As Naomi gets older, we plan on introducing homemade yogurt, homemade puddings, homemade ice cream, and maybe even homemade cheese into her diet.  I would love to try my hand at butter making but in truth, I hate to waste all that milk, as we don’t use a lot of buttermilk.

If you are interested in finding “real” milk, there are some great resources, including RealMilk.com. Give it a try!

This post is a part of Works For Me Wednesday at We Are THAT Family and Real Food Wednesdays at Kelly the Kitchen Kop.

March 16, 2011 at 3:59 PM 2 comments

Our Provider

Hard work

Photo Credit: Roberto la Forgia

If anyone does not provide for his relatives,
and especially for his immediate family,
he has denied the faith
and is worse than an unbeliever.
1 Timothy 5:8

As many of you know, Michael started his new job recently. Since then, he has been like a new man. He has more energy, he is more relaxed and cheerful, and we see more of him. It wasn’t that whe wasn’t home a lot. The problem was that when he was home, he was so physically and emotionally drained that he couldn’t really be present.

A man who works hard to provide for his family is worthy of our respect. As wives and partners, our husbands need our help and support. The competition to feed, clothe and provide for your family is fierce. There is always someone out there who will work harder, faster or cheaper. And if you are not blessed to work for a good company with compassionate and understanding employers, the stress and anguish of the job makes it even more difficult. And it can be so hard on you as the wife and partner, too. Because the stress doesn’t get left at the desk or with the tools. It comes home with the exhausted husband. Those cruel digs and mean words hurt even the biggest, toughest of our men, even when they laugh it off.

Today I am so grateful for my provider, my wonderful husband, my Beloved. He has worked harder than I could ever have asked, and does his best everyday to provide for us so that I can stay home and take care of our daughter.

This post is part of Gratituesday by Heavenly Homemakers.

March 15, 2011 at 1:12 AM 2 comments

Mom Talk Monday: Stubborn Eater

Feb. 8, 2008

Photo Credit: Girl on the Wire

My sweet little girl seems to be taking after her Daddy lately — she is not interested in eating fruits and/or vegetables whatsoever. This concerns me as I don’t want to raise my daughter to:

  1. be a picky eater
  2. only eat carbs and starches
  3. expect every meal to be a battle
  4. expect if she holds out long enough, I will cave and just give her what she wants

So what to do? I do not support or agree with the “you’re the boss, just make her do it” method. This creates a sense of distrust in the child, as she doesn’t understand the concept of nutrition, and she just wants to eat what tastes good to her! We can all relate to this idea. Why would I force her to eat things she doesn’t want to eat? I wouldn’t want to do that to my friends or family, why should I do that to my baby?

Nor do I agree with the “just starve her, she’ll eventually eat,” method. This is just cruel. What’s more, it doesn’t work. She’ll just look to nurse more frequently.

According to this source, babies are expected to still be getting the majority of their calories from breastmilk or formula for the first year. This means that although the additional foods we are giving her are contributing to her daily caloric intake, they are not necessarily providing her with a great amount.

Alternatively, many babies never go through the entire pureéd baby food experience. Many go straight to finger foods. Naomi loves to feed herself dry cereal, rice rusks, and muffins. But mushy cereals and vegetables are not on her list of favorite foods.

According to BabyCenter.com, Naomi’s daily dietary intake should consist of the following:

  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup dairy (or 1/2 oz. cheese)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup iron-fortified cereal
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup fruit
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup vegetables
  • 1/8 to 1/4 cup protein foods
  • 3 to 4 oz. non-citrus juices

I don’t agree with giving babies juice because it’s not something they need and can become something they become dependent on.  However, for the most part, I think this is a fairly straightforward guide for what your baby should enjoy.

So with the idea that the majority of her diet will consist of breastmilk, here are my thoughts on how I can increase the amount of fruits and veggies in her diet:

  • feed her from my plate, allowing her to enjoy the fruits and vegetables I eat throughout my day.  Let her try my soups, mashed or steamed veggies, salad bits, etc.  As long as they don’t contain an allergen, it’s free game!
  • mix fruits and veggies into the carb things that she likes — muffins, cereals, pancakes, spread on toast.
  • roll the soft fruits and veggies in crumbs from crushed cherrios, as well as in the dry cereals.
  • try letting her eat frozen fruits and veggies, to help ease the discomfort and pressure from those poor teething gums

Does anyone else have any suggestions for me to help get Naomi eating yummy fruits and veggies?  I’d love to hear your thoughts!

March 14, 2011 at 2:30 PM Leave a comment

Menu Plan Monday: March 13-19

I have decided to stop posting my breakfasts and lunches.  I make Universal Muffins and Smoothies for us for breakfast every day (with the exception on weekends when I make our weekend treat — bacon and eggs!) and two pots of soup and two loaves of bread  for myself to savor throughout the week at home, and then I enjoy dinner with Michael when he gets home.  

So my menu plan, from now on, will feature the following:

Soups of the Week:  2 hearty homemade soups with recipes

Breads of the Week: 2 heavenly breads with recipes

And our evening suppers.  As I will be going back to work in may, I am preparing for it ahead of time by getting familiar with my best kitchen buddy, my beloved crockpot!

Soups of the Week:
West African Peanut Soup
Curried Carrot Soup

Breads of the Week: 
• Simple White Rolls
Naan Bread

Sunday: Crockpot Chicken Cacciatore

Monday: Crockpot Chicken Alfredo

Tuesday: Nachos!

Wednesday: Crockpot Lasagna

Thursday: Crockpot Chicken and Veggies

Friday: Dinner out for groceries

Saturday: Spaghetti and Tomato sauce

This post is part of Menu Plan Monday at I’m an Organizing Junkie.

March 13, 2011 at 10:55 AM Leave a comment

Link Love Round-Up, March 6-12

Photo Credit: jardinoMe

Don’t you just love sharing?  I subscribe to some of the most wonderful and most well written blogs on the internet.  And in the spirit of sharing, I thought I would share with you the best of the week of the blogs I read.  Hopefully you will find a bit of inspiration and pleasure in their words.

March 12, 2011 at 9:04 AM Leave a comment

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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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