St. Patrick

As many of you probably know this Friday is St. Patrick’s Day. While there are a great many traditions associated with this Irish holiday have you ever stopped to ask yourself, “Who is St. Patrick? And why does he have a day remembering him?”

The original Patrick was born into a Christian family in Roman occupied Britain around the year 389. At this time Rome was beginning to crumble and was certainly losing control over its furthest borders. Because of this Britain was being ravaged by raiders from the islands. Among the raiders were bands of Irish solders. Over the course of the raiding that occurred Patrick was captured and led to Ireland as a slave. For six years Patrick labored as a swineherd. It was around this time that Patrick escaped from captivity and sailed to France where he became a monk.

Inspired by the gospel Patrick returned to the land of his captors around the year 433, he returned to, “Set his captors free form their slavery to idolatry.” God prospered and blessed the mission of Patrick who is now known as the man who converted Ireland to the true faith.

Patrick however is not only known for his work as a missionary to the Irish, Patrick is also known as an ardent defender of the faith, particularly the doctrine of the Holy Trinity. In a time where the doctrine of the Trinity was under attack on all sides by heresy Patrick stood firm confessing the “Three in One and One in Three”. It was this doctrine that Patrick stood by firmly teaching it to his captors turned brothers in faith, in both word and song. In fact Patrick’s famous Trinitarian hymn is even found in our hymnal, (LSB, 604) “I Bind Unto Myself Today”. This powerful hymn confesses the true mystery and power of the Trinity, the name into which we are baptized, the name by which we, like all the saints before us, find our salvation.

I would like to conclude this devotion with a prayer, taken from 2 stanza’s of Patrick’s hymn.

I bind this day to me forever, by power of faith, Christ’s incarnation, His baptism in the Jordan River, His cross of death for my salvation, His bursting from the spiced tomb, His riding up the heavenly way, His coming at the day of doom I bind unto myself today. 

 I bind unto myself the name, the strong name of the Trinity. By invocation of the same, the Three in One and One in Three, of whom all nature has creation, Eternal Father, Spirit, Word. Praise to the Lord of my salvation; Salvation is of Christ the Lord.

 (LSB 604;2,5)

Weedon, William. Celebrating the Saints: The Feasts, Festivals, and Commemorations of Lutheran Service Book. St. Louis, MO: Concordia House, 2016. 52-53. Print.

Written By: Vicar Jacob Berlinski