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The Man, the Myth and the Mission

“Here am I, send me; send me to the ends of the earth; send me to the rough, the savage lost of the wilderness; send me from all that is called comfort on earth; send me even to death itself, if it be but in your service, and to promote your kingdom.” - David Brainerd

St. Patrick’s story is encrusted in 1,500 years of myth and legend; however, many scholars agree on a few foundational facts:

  • He was born in Britain, and at about 16 years old, was captured, enslaved, and taken to Ireland.

  • While a slave, he began to pray and committed his life to following Christ.

  • Guided by a vision, he escaped to England but continued to be profoundly influenced by God’s grace in his life.

  • He became a missionary, returning to Ireland to bring the gospel to his captors.

The snakes and shamrocks may be questionable, but the core of his story is impressive and inspiring. He loved those who had mistreated him enough to return and share with them the good news of God’s love.

Jesus left instructions just before he returned to heaven. His command was clear to the first disciples, lived out by St. Patrick, and applies to us today. He said, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world” (Matthew 28:19-20).


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