Thursday, March 17, 2011

St. Patricks Day

Today the weather was fabulous, in the 70's, yet an emotionally tense & stressful day with family members facing serious medical financial problems and wondering how and when I can get this building back on track. I forgot all about it being St.Patricks Day until well after noon.

St. Patrick actually wasn't Irish, and his birth name was
Maewyn Succat. Patricius, would have been his Romanicized name. And it's long since amused me how this holiday has evolved into one that I hardly recognize. Historians have never been able to agree on "where" Bannavem Taberniae is located. Wales? South-Eastern Briton? Somerset? In his Confessio, Patrick writes:

I had as my father the deacon Calpornius, son of the late Potitus, a priest, who belonged to the small town of Bannavem Taberniae; he had a small estate nearby, and it was there I was taken captive.
He further states in another paragraph:

"I, Patrick, a most untutored sinner and lowest of all the faithful and the most despicable in the eyes of many, am son of Calpurnius, a deacon who was the son of Potitus, a priest, from the village of Bannavem Taberniae, who had an estate near it, where I was taken prisoner. At the time I was about sixteen years of age, I had no knowledge of the true God and I was borne away into captivity in Ireland with thousands of people."

His life as one of the early Christians was simply amazing. Years spent as a shepherd in isolated locations, years spent as a slave. But he left an indelible legacy for leading the Irish people to Christ that has endured hundred of years, and the shamrock simply became his way of explaining the trinity.

During his six years of slavery he developed a life of prayer and even attributed his escape from slavery to his deep Christian faith, after his escape back to Britain he had a dream in which the voice of the Irish begged him "to come and walk again amongst them". He decided to return to Ireland.

After years of preparation he returned as a missionary bishop, with some helpers. On his return he entered Strangford Lough and landed at the mouth of the River Slaney, County Down. His first church was a barn at Saul ('Sabhall' is the Irish word for barn). This barn was given to him by the first person he baptised - Dichu, a local chief in the year 432AD. The site of the original church is marked by the ruins of a 12th century Augustian Friary. Patrick traveled over much of the north and west of Ireland, preaching Christianity.

Patrick died around the year 462AD. His resting place lies in Downpatrick nó Dún Phadraig, translating as Patricks’ fort Co an Dúin County Down.

Today I received and e-mail from World Vision. World Vision is a charity I have long time supported, and I think it is small way of helping those who cannot help themselves. I tried to cut and paste the e-mail I received from them, but it wouldn't fit on this blog. So I went to the url given, and cut and paste directly from the web site.

World Vision is distributing relief supplies to thousands of people devastated by the massive earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan on March 11. An emergency response team is on the ground in hard hit areas, providing water, blankets, and other urgently needed supplies to survivors. Ongoing efforts will focus on the unique needs of children, who are the most impacted. Please help us respond quickly to this disaster.

Japan’s 9.0 magnitude quake triggered a massive tsunami along the northeastern coast – sweeping away entire villages with walls of water more than 30 feet high. “We are now facing the most tragic disaster in our country’s history,” said Kenjiro Ban, World Vision’s Humanitarian and Emergency Affairs Manager.

In the wake of a disaster, World Vision is often one of the first organizations to begin relief work by distributing emergency supplies and sending highly-trained staff to assess and respond to the most urgent needs. We remain on the ground for the long haul, rebuilding communities and restoring hope.

Please join us in praying for the children and families impacted by the devastating quake and tsunami in Japan. And send a gift to help them today.

In the event that donations exceed what is needed for Japan Quake and Tsunami Relief, World Vision will redirect funds to similar activities to help children and families in need.

I believe in Christianity as I believe that the Sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else. ~ - C. S. Lewis