Monday, March 17, 2014

The Virtues of St. Patrick

With St. Patrick's Day upon us and legends of shamrocks and missing snakes abounding - it seems right to look at the life of this most popular saint in his own words. Reading The Confession of Saint Patrick  highlighted for me the following virtues so abundant in the life of St. Patrick.

Humility
"I am, then, first of all, countrified, an exile, evidently unlearned, one who is not able to see into the future, but I know for certain, that before I was humbled I was like a stone lying in deep mire, and he that is mighty came and in his mercy raised me up and, indeed, lifted me high up and placed me on top of the wall. And from there I ought to should out in gratitude to the Lord for his great favors in this world and for ever, that the mind of man cannot measure." (art 12)

Obedience
"So it is that even if I should wish to separate from them in order to go to Britian, and most willingly was I prepared to go to my homeland and kinsfolk...God knows how strongly I desired this - I am bound by the Spirit, who witnessed to me that if I did he so he would mark me out as guilty, and I fear to waste the labour that I began, and not I, but Christ the Lord, who commanded me to come to be with them for the rest of my life, if the Lord shall will it and shield me from every evil, so that I may not sin before him." (art 43)

Perseverance
"...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 man 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." (art 37)

Zeal
"Therefore, indeed, I cannot keep silent, nor would it be proper, so many favours and graces has the Lord deigned to bestow on me in the land of my captivity. For after chastisement from God, and recognizing him, our way to repay him is to exalt him, and confess his wonders before every nation under heaven." (art 3)

Holy Boldness
"What is more, let anyone laugh and taunt if he so wishes, I am not keeping silent, nor am I hiding the signs and wonders that were shown to me by the Lord..."(art.45)

Trust In the Lord
"So that whatever befalls me, be it good or bad, I should accept it equally, and give thanks always to God who revealed to me that I might trust him, implicitly and forever. (art. 34)

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