Ireland’s best loved Englishman… or was he French?

The 17th MARCH is the memorial of St PATRICK.

Recent studies suggest that what we actually know of St Patrick is a likely blend of two people.  One was called Palladius, who was a frenchmen sent to Ireland by Pope Clement I in 431. His mission was to support the growing Christian communities.  It is believed that it was Palladius who became the first Bishop of Ireland.

The other ‘Patrick’ was a British boy who was kidnapped by Celt pirates at 16 years old and taken to Ireland around the same time as Palladius. He was forced to look after his masters’ animals but after 6 years he escaped and returned home where he trained to be a priest. After being ordained he returned to Ireland to help spread the Gospel.

This Patrick was mistreated but responded with the desire to help those who had hurt him become better people – an ideal patron perhaps for a country where many still carry hatred for historical hurts. We ask God’s help to love those who hurt us as we pray: Our Father…

Pray: When saying the Our Father focus on the words about forgiveness.

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