From Succat to Saint Patrick

March 17, 2009

Do you know the story of Succat?  Here’s a bullet-point biography of this 5th-century man:

  • born in Britain after the fall of Rome
  • captured at age 16 by Irish pirates
  • sold into slavery in Ireland
  • was converted to Christ in captivity as he remembered the church’s teachings that he had learned as a boy
  • escaped slavery in his early twenties
  • traveled to Gaul (France) where he trained in the church, preparing himself to be a missionary
  • returned to barbarous Ireland to preach Jesus to his enemies
  • in the course of 30 years of labor, including physical persecution, he baptized and confirmed thousands of Irish people
  • after his death became known as the apostle to Ireland and Ireland’s patron saint

You know Succat by his Christian name, Patrick.  God used Saint Patrick to bring salvation to the country of Ireland sixteen hundred years ago.

So today, when people are donning green and drinking beer and joking about leprechauns and shamrocks, remember God’s work through a faithful believer.  Saint Patrick’s Day is really a celebration of missions.  May Patrick’s missionary zeal live on in us today.  As Patrick himself said,

We ought to fish well and diligently as the Lord teaches, saying, “I will make you fishers of men.”  We should spread our nets to take a great throng for God.              (Ann Tompert, Saint Patrick)

%d bloggers like this: