“Christ beside me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ within me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me.” – Saint Patrick
St. Patrick was a remarkable man of God. What is interesting is, St. Patrick was not actually Irish. He was actually born in Britain around 400 A.D. Patrick was born into a wealthy family. At the age of 16, he was kidnapped by Irish pirates and taken to be a slave in Ireland.
Patrick grew up in a Christian family, but he, himself, was an atheist. However, through his time in captivity in Ireland, he committed his life to Christ. After 17 years as a slave in Ireland, he escaped and made his way home.
As he studied Christianity and grew more in his faith, Patrick received a vision to return and help the people of Ireland. In an act of obedience and love, he returned to the country where he was once held captive. He became a Christian missionary and led thousands of people to Christ. He was revered throughout the land, and God used him to literally transform a country.
It is said that Patrick would use the 3-leaf clover to explain the concept of the Trinity: The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. This was a tool that was constantly present and one that connected with the people of Ireland. St. Patrick wrote, “May the strength of God pilot us, May the wisdom of God instruct us, May the hand of God protect us, May the word of God direct us.”
It is believed that March 17 is the day St. Patrick died in Ireland. This day is now celebrated worldwide, but how few really know the true story behind this amazing man of God. Think about how much faith it took for St. Patrick to go back to this country where he was a captive. How amazing that God used him to transform a country, and so much so that St. Patrick is now synonymous with Ireland (even though he was not even born there). Praise God for what He can do through one person completely willing to be obedient and to love even our enemies.