Holy Patrick, A Saint of God

Patrick became a man of God who was used mightily by Jesus Christ in Ireland when he went back in the year 405 A.D. He actually went back to the land that held him in slavery. Patrick was called by God to be a missionary to those caught up in making slaves of people. Others in the land were into Druidism, human sacrifices and the like. He was captured by a band of pirates when he was a youth of 16 years old, being their slave for around 6 years. During his slavery, he was attending to swine and cattle in the mountains of Antrim. This is the time by his own words that he came in contact with the God of the universe, the Lord Jesus Christ. Let's back track and see a few things that transpired when he was in the land of his birth, the land that is now called Scotland. He was a dismal, sad, sick, sinful person as a lad when he was captured by the pirates. He was into playing with the world as most of his friends were, making fun of those who claimed to know Christ Jesus even though his father and grandfather held positions in the Christian church that he went to. His name at birth was Succat, he became known as Patrick later on in life.

"Fiacc, one of the earliest and most reliable of his biographers, tells us that Patrick 'was born at Nemthur,' and that his first name, among his own tribes, was Succat. Nemthur signifies in Irish the lofty rock; and the reference undoubtedly is to All-Cluid, or Rock of the Clyde, the rock that so grandly guards the entrance of that river, now known as the Rock of Dumbarton, which then formed the capital of the British Kingdom of Strathclyde. Here too are the yet unobliterated vestiges of a Roman encampment, and one of much greater importance than any on the southern shore, for here did the Roman wall which extended betwixt the Firths of Forth and Clyde terminate. This must have led to the creation of a town, with suburban villas, and Roman municipal privileges, such as we know were enjoyed by the community in which the ancestors of Patrick lived. Tradition, moreover, has put its finger on the spot, by planting here 'Kilpatrick,' that is Patrick's Church. Here then, on the northern shore, where the Roman had left his mark in the buildings, in the cultivation, in the manners, and in the language of the people, are we inclined to place the birth of one who has left a yet deeper mark on Scotland, and one infinitely more beneficent, than any left by Roman."(1)

Succat (later St. Patrick), was herding cattle and swine in this forbidden land that took him away from his family, fun and frolic. He was growing more and more miserable day by day, wondering how he could bear the loneliness, the pain, the heartache that seemed to grow within. He would be up on the mountains tending the cattle or swine and talking to himself and thinking of his life at home. He started looking at his own life and the path it was headed down. He was beginning to see himself as the Lord of Glory sees him, dark, ugly, and undone, a filthy sinner deserving of hell. In his own words, Patrick said this, "Oh, my sin! my sin!" we hear him cry! What shall I do? Whither shall I flee? It is no imaginary scene that we are describing. "In that strange land," says he, speaking of this period of conviction and agony, "the Lord imparted to me the feeling [2] of my unbelief and hardness of heart, so that I should call my sins to remembrance though late, and turn with all my heart to God." And again he says, "Before the Lord humbled me, I was even as a stone lying in the depth of the mire, and He who is able [3] came and lifted me up, and not only lifted me up but set me on the top of the wall;" Jesus Christ made Patrick (Succat) part of the spiritual house that all Christians are a part of, making us kings and priests for the Lord's glory as it says in God's holy word, the KJV. (Ck. I Peter 2:5-9; Rev. 1:5,6)

Patrick (Succat) did not learn at the feet of anyone in power down here whether pope, priest, or king. He learned at the feet of the Lord Jesus Christ as Mary, the sister of Maratha, did so many years before him. Even though Mary had the priviledge of seeing the Lord Jesus Christ face to face, Patrick didn't have that pleasure but the lessons were taught by one and the same person.

The Lord speaks to Patrick in his dreams and lets him know he will be escaping, going back to his homeland in his 6th year as a slave in Ireland. Patrick runs away and gets a ride on a ship going to present day Scotland. He arrives at his homeland a different person, redeemed by the Lord, bought with his blood. His old friends think that slavery has messed him up though his parents are thankful to have him back. The Lord is dealing with him now to be a missionary to Ireland, to win the country for his name. But what was Patrick? In his own eyes, he was a nobody, a slave who escaped. The Lord has used uneducated men all through time and he will use them again. All he wants is a willing heart. He deals with Patrick (Succat) in his own way, his own timing. Finally one day, Patick breaks down and tells his family and friends that he is going back to Ireland with the gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. His parents try to talk him out of it but when you hear from the Lord, there can be no stopping. Patrick ends up taking a few Christian missionaries with him. The rest is history, Ireland is taken for the Lord. Druidism was stopped as well as slavery. But now most of Ireland has fallen into paganism, idolatry once again. Roman Catholicism rules over there with an iron hand as she does every country that she takes over. Since the Roman Catholic Church has controlled most of history in the dark ages, she has rewritten much of Patrick's life as she has others. So a ficticious Patrick arises out of the ashes of the true Patrick, a soldier of the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, fighting with the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. God used him to change the course of a nation for a while.

There is so much fiction written by Monks after Patrick's death to make him some one that he was not. He never paid homage to a pope and he never went to Rome. By his own words, he stayed in Ireland until he died.

"It is at this point of his career that some of Patrick's biographers throw in an unexpected and most surprising episode. Arresting him in his work, they dismiss him for a while from the field of his labours and of his fast-coming triumphs, and send him on a journey to Rome, to receive consecration as a bishop from the Pope. Had Patrick begun to covet the "pall" which the bishop of Rome was about this time beginning to send as a "gift" to the bishops of the Christian world, with covert design of drawing them into an admission of his supremacy? Or had he begun to doubt the sufficiency of that commission of which it had been his humble boast that he received it "from Christ himself" and did he now wish to supplement his Master's grace with the pontiff's consecration. It must be done so, if indeed it be the fact that he went to Rome to solicit the papal anointing. But where is the proof of this? What Pope anointed Patrick? What contemporary record contains the alleged fact? Neither Prosper, nor Platina, nor any other chronicler, mentions Patrick's visit to Rome, till Marianus, a monk of Cologne, proclaims it to the world in the eleventh century, without making it clear in what way or through what channel a fact hidden from the six previous centuries was revealed to himself. There is no earlier Irish authority for it than a manuscript of the fifteenth century. The undoubted truth is, that oil of Pope never came on Patrick's head. He put no value on papal consecration, and would not have interrupted his work for the space of an hour, or gone a mile out of his way, though it had been to be anointed with the oil of all the Popes. Nay, we may venture to affirm that he would not have left the evangelization of Ireland were it to have been installed even in the chair of Peter. Let us first hear Patrick himself on the point. His words make it clear that from the moment he arrived in Ireland as a missionary till he laid his bones in its soil, not a day did he absent himself from the country. "Though I most earnestly desired to go to Britain," says he, "as if to my country and kindred, and not only so, but even to proceed as far as Gaul,—the Lord knows how much I wished it,— yet bound in the spirit which declares me guilty if I should do so, I fear lest I should lose aught of my labour,—nay, not mine, but Christ's, my Lord, who commanded me to come to this people, and live with them during the residue of my life." Dr. Lanigan, the able Roman Catholic historian of St. Patrick, treats the story as a fabrication. "This pretended tour to Rome," says he, "and the concomitant circumstances, are set aside by the testimony of St. Patrick himself, who gives us most clearly to understand that from the commencement of his mission he constantly remained in Ireland. And again: "It is clear from his own testimony that he remained with the Irish people during the whole remainder of his life." (4) (5)

The real St. Patrick knew of the grace, the power, the love of the God who saved him, freed him by his divine providence. The God who wants all to be saved and to come into the knowledge of the truth. Jesus Christ is still calling people today. Salvation is free for the asking but not cheap. It cost God the death of his only begotten Son, Jesus Christ. If you see yourself as a sinner, lost and undone, without hope then turn to Jesus in repentance and ask him to forgive you of your sins, to come into your life and he will save you just as he did St. Patrick. This could be the greatest St. Patrick's Day that you have ever experienced.

(1) History Of The Scottish Nation Vol. II
By Rev. J.A. Wylie LL.D.,
Chapter IX.
Patrick—Birth, Boyhood, and Youth—Carried Off By Pirates.

(2.) Ibid.
Chapter X-
Patrick's Captivity in Ireland—His Conscience Awakens—Prolonged Anguish.
Taken from Patrick's book about his own life
Aperuit sensum.—Pat. Confessio.

(3.) Ibid.
Chapter X-
Patrick's Captivity in Ireland—His Conscience Awakens—Prolonged Anguish.
Taken from Patrick's book about his own life
Qui potens est.—Ibid.

(4) Ibid.
Chapter XV-
Patrick' s Barn—His Tours—In Country Districts—In Towns—Conversations—Sermons—Toils and Perils—Efforts
On Behalf Of Slaves—Was He Ever At Rome?

(5.) Lanigan, Eccles. Hist., i. 181, 319.