St. Patrick

Dear Friends

Every year, we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day on March 17 th , the date of his death at
the age of 75. Patrick grew up in Roman Britain in the 4 th Century, kidnapped by
Irish raiders and enslaved until the age of 16. He escaped back to Britain and
became a priest. He felt called in a dream to return to the people of Ireland, and so
asked for permission from his bishop to return to the land of his captivity, to
convert its people from paganism to Christianity.

We are not sure where in Britain he lived. Most historians think he was born and
lived in west Wales, but I have heard that others claim he hailed from Strathclyde
in the southwest of Scotland. Both are a short distance from Ireland and easily

My own Scottish heritage is intermingled with English and Welsh from my father’s
side of the family and my mother has told me stories about how her great
grandparents migrated to Edinburgh from the west of Scotland and possibly
Ireland. And so, I often wonder if the tints of ginger in my hair came from Ireland.

Certainly, our traditional Scottish music has a Celtic flavor, and many melodies are
common to both Irish and Scottish folk traditions.

Regardless of our background, the festivities of St. Patrick’s Day have a wonderful
way of bringing a smile to our faces, from the music to the costumes and food.
This Sunday, we are serving Shamrock stew after worship. This week, I will be
trying my hand at making some stew. I only hope that it is good enough to serve at
our Shamrock Luncheon So, be sure to stick around for fellowship hour to enjoy
the food and fun of the day.

I close with the most famous part of St. Patrick’s Breastplate,
Christ be with me,
Christ before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,


Christ on my right,
Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down,
Christ when I sit down,
Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.

Pastor Cliff