On this weeks programme Michael Keating joins the SS102fm to reflect on the upcoming celebration of St Patrick's Day when all the world decides it is Irish and turns green for a day. But who was St Patrick? Like so many Christian feasts, St Patrick’s Day has been somewhat hijacked. St Patrick has about as much to do with a pint of Guinness as St Valentine has to do with a box of chocolates and a romantic meal for two. But what does this saint, so strong in missionary zeal and about whom we know very little, have to do with our modern day celebrations? While we have many legends about St Patrick, it is makes sense to look to see what writings the saint himself has left us which are regarded as some of the earliest literature from Ireland to discover who he was. The answer to the question comes from his Confessio itself.
"My name is Patrick. I am a sinner, a simple country person, and the least of all believers. I am looked down upon by many. My father was Calpornius. He was a deacon; his father was Potitus, a priest, who lived at Bannavem Taburniae. His home was near there, and that is where I was taken prisoner. I was about sixteen at the time. At that time, I did not know the true God. I was taken into captivity in Ireland,along with thousands of others. We deserved this, because we had gone away from God,and did not keep his commandments. We would not listen to our priests, who advised us about how we could be saved. We have gone aside from your commandments … we have not listened to your servants the prophets".The Lord brought his strong anger upon us, and scattered us among many nations even to the ends of the earth. It was among foreigners that it was seen how little I was." We should enjoy the celebrations of St Patrick’s Day, but also remember Christ’s call to conversion in our lives; a call to conversion and change that St Patrick felt so strongly that he left behind everything he had and followed Jesus so that he might bring the gospel to others.