Today is the feast day of one of the greatest saints to ever trod the green earth, Saint Patrick. Born at the time of the crumbling of the Roman Empire, with pagan hordes overrunning Britain, he planted forever the cross of Christ in Ireland. Here we have, in his own words, his report on his great mission:
“37 And many gifts were offered to me with weeping and tears, and I offended them [the donors], and also went against the wishes of a good number of my elders; but guided by God, I neither agreed with them nor deferred to them, not by my own grace but by God who is victorious in me and withstands them all, so that I might come to the Irish people to preach the Gospel and endure insults from unbelievers; that I might hear scandal of my travels, and endure many persecutions to the extent of prison; and so that I might give up my free birthright for the advantage of others, and if I should be worthy, I am ready [to give] even my life without hesitation; and most willingly for His name. And I choose to devote it to him even unto death, if God grant it to me.
38 I am greatly God’s debtor, because he granted me so much grace,that through me many people would be reborn in God, and soon after confirmed, and that clergy would be ordained everywhere for them, the masses lately come to belief, whom the Lord drew from the ends of the earth, just as he once promised through his prophets: ‘To you shall the nations come from the ends of the earth, and shall say, Our fathers have inherited naught but lies, worthless things in which there is no profit.’ And again: ‘I have set you to be a light for the Gentiles that you may bring salvation to the uttermost ends of the earth.'”
May we have a fraction of the courage of Saint Patrick to stand witness for the Faith, no matter what the cost.