I love being Irish. It seems every does these days. I recently heard that 11 out of 10 people claim to be Irish! Sure enough, though, my great, great grandmother, Katherine O’Leary came from Cork. Ever since I was a wee lad, my mother made a big deal to celebrate our heritage, boiled dinners, songs, and always some words about St. Patrick himself. So here’s a couple o’ things you should know but probably don’t know about Mr. Patrick
St. Patrick: Missional Church Planter
One of the crazy things about St. Patrick is that he was not Irish! Nope, truth be told, he was actually a Brititsh missionary to Ireland. As my friend Jonathan points out…
Although I’m sure Patrick enjoyed a good beer, his life was counted for much more than good times and green clovers. Patrick was a man of remarkable faith and mission. In the 5th century, Patrick planted more than 200 churches and won 100,000 people to Christ. How did this happen? Far from a come-and-see approach, Patrick pioneered mission to the pagan tribes of Ireland through innovative strategy, intense suffering, and robust faith in Christ.
You’ll want to read the rest, here.
St. Patrick: Vintage Saint
Another startling thing about St. Patrick is that he is not actually a “Saint”, at least not in the technical, canonized sense. By Jesus’ standards, he was a saint like every other sinner saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. (But that’s not enough for some people.) Be sure to read Mark Driscoll’s tribute to the vintage saint, here. His an amazing story: teen-age rebel, captured by pirates, years of isoloation, a vision from God, radical love for the ‘barbarian’ Celts, and a church-planting legacy.
St. Patrick 101
If you’re a freshman in Irish Studies and the Life and Times St. Patrick, then you’ll no doubt find these links helpful, too!
- How the Irish Saved Civilization
- Christianity Today’s Ode to St. Patrick and Celtic Christianity
- The History Channel’s Guide to St. Patrick’s Day