I am not a Saint Patrick scholar, nor do I agree with every thing his sect of Christianity claims. But as one raised in an Irish-American family that had corned-beef and cabbage every Saint Patrick’s Day, the holiday has a special place in my heart. There is plenty of myth surrounding Saint Patrick, but here are a few things we do know about him. He was kidnapped by a group of Irish Marauders at the age of sixteen, and taken to Ireland where he became a slave. After several years he escaped and returned to Britain. In Britain he studied to be a priest and became a bishop. Eventually, he felt God’s call to return to Ireland and spread the gospel among the Irish. He says of his return to Ireland:
In his autobiography (Confession), Saint Patrick writes:
I testify in truthfulness and gladness of heart before God and His holy angels that I never had any reason, except the Gospel and His promises, ever to have returned to that nation from which I had previously escaped with difficulty.
He spent almost thirty years sharing Christ on the island until he died.
. . . Without any doubt, in that day we shall arise in the brightness of the Son, that is, in the glory of Jesus Christ, and, all redeemed, we shall be, as it were, the sons of God and co-heirs of Christ, and made like to His image in the future. For from Him, and by Him, and in Him, are all things: to Him be glory for ever. Amen.
It is difficult to read a passage like this without thinking of the many Irish who are “sons of God and co-heirs of Christ” because of the works God accomplished through Saint Patrick. Any choir director will tell you every good choir needs a diversity of voices. Thanks be to God for the many Irish voices which will be singing “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty, Who was, and is, and is to come.”