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St. Patrick

Saint Patrick

Bishop & Confessor

Patrick was born to noble Roman parents in Late Roman Britain, in the late fourth or early fifth century. Patrick’s mother was by some accounts a close relative of the great St. Martin of Tours. According to his autobiographical work Confessio, Patrick was kidnapped and enslaved at the age of sixteen, and brought to Ireland, where he tended sheep for his pagan master until escaping six years later, encouraged by a voice from heaven. In captivity Patrick had been truly converted at heart, and after his escape he studied the faith throughout Europe, where he was eventually ordained by St. Germanus of Auxerre. At the recommendation of St. Germanus, Pope St. Celestine I commissioned Patrick with evangelizing Ireland, to which country Patrick had always felt called to return. Ireland may have previously seen some scattered missionary efforts, but it was Patrick, now a bishop, who truly ignited the Emerald Isle with the fire of the faith. Patrick established his see at Armagh, and through prayer, preaching and miracle-working he converted almost the entire country within his own lifetime. The Apostle of Ireland died sometime in the late fifth century.


Traditional Roman Martyrology for March 17th

IN Ireland, the birthday of St. Patrick, bishop and confessor, who was the first to preach Christ in that country, and became illustrious by great miracles and virtues.

At Jerusalem, St. Joseph of Arimathea, noble senator and disciple of our Lord, who took his body down from the cross, and buried it in his own new sepulchre.

At Rome, the Saints Alexander and Theodore, martyrs.

At Alexandria, the commemoration of many holy martyrs, who being seized by the worshippers of Serapis, and refusing constantly to adore that idol, were cruelly murdered, in the reign of the emperor Theodosius, who afterwards issued orders that the temple of Serapis should be destroyed.

At Constantinople, St. Paul, martyr, who was burned alive under Constantine Copronymus, for defending the worship of holy images.

At Chalons, in France, St. Agricola, bishop.

At Nivelle, in Brabant, St. Gertrude, a virgin of noble birth. Because she despised the world, and during her whole life practised all kinds of good works, she deserved to have Christ for her spouse in heaven.

℣. And elsewhere many other holy martyrs, confessors, and holy virgins.

℟. Thanks be to God.

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