St Patrick (Approx 400-480a.d.)

Born in Britain possibly close to the mouth of the Severn, Patrick was the son of a Deacon, probably also a Roman official. He was taken into slavery to Ireland at 16 years, to live and work in harsh conditions. In spite of his youth, his faith grew stronger in captivity, and he often spent nights in prayer. He relied a lot on God’s guidance through dreams and visions. He escaped from Ireland, returned home, and managed to be ordained priest and bishop, possibly on the continent. Hearing the voice of the Irish in a dream. he returned to bring the message of Jesus. He was humble, and apologetic for his lack of learning, and poor Latin. He was the subject of much malice, and suffered in his ministry. He converted many of the Irish to Christianity. He is believed to have died at Saul, and his grave is venerated at Downpatrick. Many exaggerated fictional biographies were written a century or two after his death. But the ‘Confession’ – a short autobiography, and the ‘Letter to Coroticus’ (a letter of protest at the mistreatment of Irish Christians) are believed to be his own writings, existing in 9thc manuscripts. His biography is a remarkable short open and honest account of his life, faith, biblical and mystical spirituality.

Gather Family Abroad Back to Their Roots

Why not invite any of our Irish abroad that you are in touch with, and who aren’t able to celebrate St Patrick’s Day in a normal way this year, to tune into the Mass from Ballinora at 10am on March 17th. Send them the link: Churchservices.tv/ballinora. In case of time differences, a recording of the Mass will also be available afterwards.

If they want to send greetings or messages home, they can send them to stjamesparish@hotmail.com, and some could be read at the Mass, or displayed on the Ballinora Parish Facebook page, or on the website www.stjamesparishballinora.ie