Bishop Ward shares the story of the missionary, Saint Patrick, answering God’s call to minister to the people of Ireland.
Grace and peace to you in the name of Jesus Christ.
“Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart” – a wonderful Irish hymn we sing often in our churches is reflective of the rich history of the Christian church in Ireland. On March 17, we celebrate Patrick, the missionary saint who carried the Good News to Ireland.
Patrick was actually born in England and captured as a teenager. He was carried to Ireland. He was able to escape and came home to England. He was summoned in a dream by God. In the dream the people of Ireland were saying “Come over, come over and help us, teach us”. Patrick did go to Ireland and spent his entire life proclaiming the gospel – teaching, organizing Christians, and creating a movement that remains to this very day.
Patrick was a wonderful teacher. Like Jesus, he used simple illustrations from nature to teach. He would hold up a shamrock and say to the people, “this shamrock is three, three leaves and yet it is one leaf.” In this way he was able to help them comprehend something of the great mystery of God.
As Saint Patrick’s Day comes this year, let us give thanks for the ministry of Patrick, the great missionary saint. As we extend our own ministry out into the world, let us give thanks for the mission of our church – “go and make disciples of all nations, teaching them and baptizing them in the name of the God, Father, Son, Holy Spirit and lo, I am with you even to the end of the age.”
Be blessed as you go.