When Pat was a teen, he was kidnapped, taken to an island and forced to serve a warlord. Six grueling years later, a voice whispered to him in his sleep, “Your hungers are rewarded. You are going home. Look, your ship is ready!” Pat soon escaped to a ship and made it off the island.
Back in the safety of his home, however, a recurring dream disturbed him: The barbaric people of the island kept calling him to return. He knew in his heart God was calling him to live among those people as Christ’s witness. So he entered the priesthood and went back to the very island where he was once enslaved!
Thanks to St. Patrick’s crazy obedience, and his loving approach to the pagan people, Catholicism spread through Ireland like wildfire.
As we celebrate the Feast of St. Patrick this weekend, let us also pray for those like St. Patrick who obey the call to be Christ’s witness in strange, even brutal lands. And as Catholics, let us remember we are all Christ’s witnesses wherever we may be.
Christ shield me this day: Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ on my right, Christ on my left, Christ when I lie down, Christ when I arise, Christ in the heart of every person who thinks of me, Christ in the eye that sees me, Christ in the ear that hears me. (From “The Breastplate of St. Patrick”)