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St Patrick – 17th March 2024
So, today is Paddy’s Day! A day when the Chicago River has been turned green, when the biggest St Patrick’s Day parade is held in New York and when a staggering 13 million pints of Guinness are consumed in one single day.

It is however also a day when we can reflect on 5 other truths

Fact number 1. Although he is Ireland’s patron saint, Patrick wasn’t actually Irish. It’s a peculiar irony of history that he probably was a Briton, possibly from either Scotland or Wales.

2.He was captured by a group of Irish pirates and brought to Ireland as a slave, aged just 16. And this took place around the year 400.

3. Patrick tended pigs and sheep for 6 years, possibly on Slemish where the Lord “Opened his mind to an awareness of his unbelief” in order that, in his own words, “He might remember his transgressions”.

4. He managed to escape his captors and returned home by ship before choosing to study Christianity in France. There he had a vision from God and believing it to be a call to ‘come and walk among us’ Patrick voluntarily returned to the land where once he had been a slave, and so bring the liberating message of the gospel back to Ireland.

And finally fact number 5:
Patrick was a humble minded man, who having himself received forgiveness from God then preached a message of forgiveness and spoke much of his saviour, and so today, Paddy’s day when much merriment will undoubtedly take place in his name, we leave the final true word to the man himself:

I bind unto myself today, the Name,
the strong Name of the Trinity
by invocation of the same,
the Three in One and One in Three,
of whom all nature has creation,
eternal Father, Spirit, Word.
Praise to the Lord of my salvation;
Salvation is of Christ the Lord!
Happy St Patrick’s Day.