March 17, 2021

Feast of Saint Patrick

I pen today’s Daily Reflection on this the feast of the saint whose name I proudly bear with a certain amount of pride. The Daily Eucharistic Reflections are part of the Center for Eucharistic Evangelization’s mission, and indeed, Saint Patrick was a premier evangelizer. In today’s reading from Saint John, Jesus—speaking of his relationship with the Father— proclaims, “I cannot do anything on my own: I judge as I hear, and my judgment is just because I do not seek my own will, but the will of the one who sent me.”

These were also Saint Patrick’s sentiments as he was sent to Ireland, where he converted thousands of the nomadic Celts. He created several monasteries and convents throughout the island and strongly encouraged men and women to dedicate their lives to Christ in this way. Just as Patrick was the great evangelizer of Ireland, it was the energetic and faith-filled men of these monasteries who took up the cause and evangelized so much of Europe.

Patrick’s theology was profoundly Trinitarian (hence the legend of the shamrock as a visual image of the Trinity). His “Lorica,” or the Breastplate of Saint Patrick, begins and ends with an invocation to the Trinity, “I arise today through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity, through a belief in the Threeness, through a confession of the Oneness of the Creator of creation.”

We might not be called to go to a foreign land to convert a nation of pagan nomads, but we, like Saint Patrick, are all called by our baptism to evangelize, to bring the message of the kingdom to those seeking truth, peace, and love. At the end of each Mass, we are so commissioned, “The Mass is ended. Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.”

Let Us Pray:

Lord, you raised up Saint Patrick to go on mission to the people of Ireland. With the help and strength of your grace, he planted the seed which blossomed into a profound faith that raised up an island of saints, mystics, and missionaries. Enrich us with that same grace that we, too, in our own small way, may plant the seeds of faith in others. Amen.


Daily Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)
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About Patrick Riley

Patrick is an Associate of the Blessed Sacrament at St Paschal Baylon Church in Cleveland, Ohio. He is the Book Review Editor for Emmanuel Magazine.