Today we walked with St. Patrick. We visited the Patrick Centre in Downpatrick and prayed at his grave. We touched the cold water of St. Patrick’s Wells at Struell. We prayed at Saul Church, the site of the barn Patrick was given for shelter — the place he established his first church.
St. Patrick, I thought I knew you, the saint of stained glass and mitres, of shamrocks and crosiers.
Today we celebrate your feast day with parades and green beer. But the color of your adopted country is blue. And the old ones took your feast day as times for abstinence and prayer.
Let me see past the 21st century Patrick to the Patrick of 432, the man called to return to his place of bondage and bring the word of love.
Let me reclaim your remembrance as a holy time, an opportunity for service to the poor, the hungry, the enslaved. For you once were poor, hungry, and enslaved. Let me reclaim your remembrance with gratitude and humility.
Pray for me. Pray for us, Patrick.
(I took this photograph near the grave of Patrick. The flower and I spent some reflective time together.)