I love St. Patrick’s Day! Aside from driving out snakes, what was his specialty?
Most people have no idea that Saint Patrick had anything to do with snakes. The truth is, Patrick wasn’t involved with snakes at all, aside from the demons he exorcised from suffering people. In ancient times, stories were often made up about remarkable individuals in order to craft a larger-than-life image of a super hero. The idea that Patrick was so holy that all the snakes of Ireland slithered into the icy seas wherever he walked through the towns on the Irish coast, was a tale meant to emphasize his miraculous gifting. Patrick’s life and personhood need no exaggeration; he was one of many, mighty patriarchs of the Christian faith. Like the Apostle Paul, Patrick was a true holy-man and an evangelist who is accredited with single-handedly bringing the Gospel message to Ireland. Let us consult the sacred Book of Kells for the truth about Saint Patrick:
Named “The Celtic Lion,” Patrick was born in 398 A.D. to Conchessa and Calpurnius, both Roman citizens (he of noble birth) who were deeply Christian. They lived in the area now known as Wales in the United Kingdom.
His dutiful, Christian parents took the infant Patrick to be baptized. But Christian priests were rare and one could not be found. They instead traveled to the home of a blind hermit named Gornias, known to be a devout Christ-follower. But there was no water for the ceremony to be performed, so Gornias took baby Patrick’s hand in his and traced the sign of the cross in the dirt at their feet. Water gushed forth from the spot. Not only was the baby baptized, but the hermit was forever healed of his blindness.
As a child, Patrick played in the ice and snow with his siblings during winter. Snatching an icicle to show his mother, she was irritated that he hadn’t instead brought a piece of wood to start their fire. He told her not to worry, that God could use ice to kindle flame. Soon Patrick’s fire was roaring in the hearth.
During childhood adventures in the forest, his beloved sister, Lupita, fell and struck her head on a rock, knocking her unconscious and bleeding. Patrick laid hands upon the wound and prayed—she was immediately healed with the scar on her head visible to show their parents what Patrick and God had done. Patrick’s tribal-teacher fell dead during lessons one evening. Patrick calmly approached him, put his arm around him, whispered in his ear, and the man came back to life in the middle of the class filled with students.
At age sixteen, Patrick’s homeland was raided by Scottish thugs who captured Patrick and sold him as a slave in the pagan land of Ireland. He never saw his parents again. Yet in Ireland, surrounded by the demonic Druids, Patrick began to be visited at night by an angel named Victor. This angel ministered to him with Scripture, inflaming Patrick’s love for God and instructing him to begin winning souls as soon as he was free. Patrick was released and promptly decided to seek out the Druid-kings of Ireland; to witness to them, win them to Christ and in so doing, save the nation.
On the eve of Easter, Patrick decided to light the first-ever Paschal fire on the Hill of Slane which overlooked the royal palace of Tara, the home of the Druid high king and queen. As Patrick and his new converts worshiped and celebrated the coming dawn of Easter, the furious king brought nine chariots of troops and all their satanic wizards to kill him and silence his songs of praise. Upon their arrival, Patrick calmly sang, “Some trust in chariots, some in horses, but we will call on the Name of the Lord our God.” An earthquake then occurred as the first light of Easter morning crept over the mountain. One soldier was instantly saved and kneeled in prayer. The frightened horses galloped away; the other soldiers fled. A showdown of demonic, wizard-magic against the power of Patrick’s God ensued, resulting in dead wizards. Only the king and queen remained. They swore never to hinder or harm Patrick and his Christians again. And Christ came to Ireland.