Sunday, March 16, 2014

Life Without Luck

St. Patrick Snake 

Holidays are really beginning to bother me.  As each decade passes, people know less and less about the truth of what is being celebrated. Valentine's Day, Easter, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and even Independance Day have become famous events of spending and eating. Honorable people and values are all but forgotten as we Americans please ourselves in the festivities of being off work.  What is the point?

Presently we are in the midst of the 4-leaf clover, go-green, lucky-charm month. What is Saint Patrick's Day? Or rather WHO was Saint Patrick? An Irish mascot or legend? The luckiest man who ever lived? Over the years people have contorted truth and made idolatrous lies about individuals of noble character. Today most people know nothing of this person, Patrick --and the commercialism and superstition of this holiday continues to grow.

St. Patrick was born in Roman Britain. Calpornius, his father, was a deacon, his grandfather Potitus a priest, from Banna Venta Berniae. Patrick, however, was not an active believer. According to The Confession of St. Patrick, at the age of just sixteen Patrick was captured by a group of Irish pirates. The raiders brought Patrick to Ireland where he was enslaved and held captive for six years. Patrick writes in The Confession that the time he spent in captivity was critical to his spiritual development. He explains that the Lord had mercy on his youth and ignorance, and afforded him the opportunity to be forgiven of his sins and converted to Christianity. While in captivity, Saint Patrick worked as a shepherd and strengthened his relationship with God through prayer eventually leading him to convert to Christianity.

After six years of captivity he heard a voice telling him that he would soon go home, and then that his ship was ready. Fleeing his master, he travelled to a port, two hundred miles away, where he found a ship and with difficulty persuaded the captain to take him. After three days sailing they landed, presumably in Britain, and apparently all left the ship, walking for 28 days in a "wilderness", becoming faint from hunger before encountering a herd of wild boar; since this was shortly after Patrick had urged them to put their faith in God, his prestige in the group was greatly increased. After various adventures, he returned home to his family, now in his early twenties.After returning home to Britain, Saint Patrick continued to study Christianity, and eventually returned to Ireland as a Christian missionary. (Wikipedia)

This man was not a red-bearded man with a pot o'gold and luck, but a man of character. The beloved words of the hymn, Be Thou My Vision, were actually written as a tribute to St. Patrick's loyalty in worship despite an Irish king's edict that restricted candle-lighting on Easter.  Although lengthy, the link below is truth worth reading and applying to our own perspective of holidays. This is what Patrick wrote of himself: The Confession of Saint Patrick

If interested in the history of Valentine's Day, Click Here
If interested in the history of Halloween, Click Here

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