Today is Saint Patrick’s Day, a day that is all about corned beef and cabbage, shamrocks, leprechauns, and wearing green clothes, green face paint, and green hats. And beer.
S.M.Houghton has this to say about this saint in his book Sketches from Church History:
Shortly before the Roman legions were recalled to Italy to resist barbaric invaders, there was born in North Britain, in the region of the Antonine Wall stretching from teh Forth to the Clyde, a boy named Sucat (‘warlike’). The year was 373 and the place of his birth Alcluyd, now Dumbarton (‘the fort of the Britons’). In his youth he was captured in a raid by Picts and Scots and sold to a tribal leader in Antrim. His conversion to God soon followed. As a Christian he took the name of Patricius (Patrick) and was directed by the Lord to preach the gospel to the Irish people when he was about thirty years of age. He and his helpers laboured hard, ‘sowing belief until he brought all the Ulstermen by the net of the gospel to the harbour of life’. Armagh later became his chief center of his work. Church Histories sometimes speak as if the whole of Ireland was covered by his work, but it was the northern part that he chiefly benefited. The date of Patrick’s death has caused much controversy, but it is probable that it occurred in the year 463, when he was 90 years of age.
Saint Patrick’s day, as celebrated in our town, would likely cause the old saint to turn in his grave were he not safe in heaven with the Savior. Here, within blocks of my house will be drunkenness from morning ’til night, with the bars opening early to serve the overgrown children we call college students their ritual green beer. It’s not a safe night to venture out in cars because of all the drunks. A sad tribute to a man devoted to the gospel of Christ.