Today the church remembers St. Patrick, the 5th Century missionary to Ireland.
He was not religious as a child, and as an early teen was seized by Irish raiders and sold as a slave in Ireland. In his bondage and loneliness, he began to pray every day.
He eventually managed to escape in his late teens and returned to Roman-Britain, now spiritual and convinced that he was called to serve the Irish people not as a slave, but as a shepherd.
He studied for the priesthood, and became Bishop of Ireland in the 430’s.
Lore is legion for this Irish saint, and he became known for standing up for the Irish, even against the will and decrees of his native Roman-British. He was known for leading a vigorous and historic life. He died in 461 in County Down.
St. Patrick is a testament to how, when we fall in love with a people, we also fall in line with them against the powers of the world that threaten them. He was an ally for the abused Irish, and is now one of their patron saints.