ST. PATRICK

FEAST DAY. March 17th

St. Patrick was enslaved by Irish raiders at 16, as a herdsman in harsh conditions, he learned to pray and grew in great holiness. As a missionary to pagan Ireland, he brought the Faith to the Gallic Peoples. Patrick is depicted with a snake (for his legendary removal of snakes from Ireland), a shamrock (to explain the Trinity: 3 persons, 1 nature); a book to represent this "Confessio", one of few authentic writings which presents him as humble and courageous in converting the people of Ireland, a staff, jewel and green vestments and miter, since, as Bishop of Ireland he divided Ireland into dioceses, founded monasteries, ordained many priests and encouraged spiritual growth among laity. The harp represents the hymn he wrote, "Breastplate: Christ with me... before me... beneath me... above me... on my right... on my left... when I lie down... when I arise... in the heart of every person who thinks of me...in the mouth of every person who speaks of me...in the eye that sees me...in the ear that hears me".