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March 16, 2017

In wishing all of you a joyous and blessed St. Patricks day celebration suddenly it hit me, what am I wishing on? Based on what? Who was this saint and was he really a saint? So I did some research and was amazed at what I discovered. Going into Celtic books of history I found multitudes of Irish names and places, but in all that I found a story. So let me skip names and places I cannot even pronounce and paraphrase the story. OK? Thanks.

First of all Patrick was not Irish but either Scottish or English, living in a sea port village. One night, when he was a young teen, a marauding Irish band sailed in and attacked the village. Patrick and his sister were taken as captives to Ireland and sold as slaves. Patrick's owner placed him in the fields to herd pigs. He did this for 6 years.

One night, a voice spoke to him and told him to flee to the sea. He did, thinking the voice to be of an angel. On the way, scriptures he had been taught as a child came flooding back. He eventually found a seaport village and managed to get on a boat and escape home. There he gave his heart to the Lord and had a powerful life changing conversion to Christ. For the next several years, Patrick grew in grace, knowledge in the things of God to become a giant spiritual warrior.

Again, in the night, a figure of light spoke to Patrick with same voice he heard tell him to flee Ireland, yet this time the instruction was "Return to Ireland." So next day, Patrick gathered a group of his loyal followers and prepared to set sail over to Ireland. ( Humm, not easy.)

So let me set the stage for this part which plays out like a movie. Meanwhile, during all that had been going on in Patrick's life, the one who raided villages taking slaves, including Patrick and his sister, Had become a powerful King ruling over lesser clans. How did he advance and get this power, you ask? He went to the dark side which was prevalent in Ireland, a country overrun with Druids, Witches, and satan worshipers. The King and Queen were surrounded, counseled, and controlled by this kind of staff. Do we see a clash coming?

So, it is Saturday the day before Easter Sunday and when night falls He plans a huge bonfire. He sends out an order, that no other fire can be lit or seen until a strong Druid comes to light his.

Picture this. His castle in on a hill known as the dark hill. Before this hill, is a sweeping beautiful plain that goes to another hill. The King can see this hill from his castle, and anyone on this hill could see the castle. Meanwhile, darkness falls and the Druid to light the bon fire is delayed. Hummm.

Enter, Patrick and his band on yon hill. They decide to begin Easter celebration, and Patrick orders everyone to light torches and begin singing praises to God.

Mad King? You can believe it. He sits in darkness and yonder hill is ablaze in light and they are celebrating and singing? Won't let this insult stand. Next he gathers aids and soldiers and goes in chariots down the plain to the other hill. He is ready for war.

The closer he and his wife(Queen) get the more nervous the Droids become. They advise the King to call Patrick to come out of the Light to him and show respect.

However, when the King and war party arrive, Patrick and a few close friend with torches boldly come and face the King. The Kings strongest Druid steps forward to confront Patrick.( not sure of next part, but records to indicate the event unfolded as such)

Druid screams vile accusations at Patrick and God, with threats. Patrick quoted some scripture which included, may you be lifted up before God and die right now.

Suddenly, the druid was lifted up in the air by some unseen force and thrown to the ground, hitting his head on a stone. He died at the Kings feet. Enraged, the King ordered his soldiers to kill them all. There was mass confusion. Soldiers fought and killed each other, horses ran away, and yet non of Patrick's band were harmed.

Silence. Only three left with the King and Queen. The Queen quietly rises and walks to Patrick and bows. She says,'My Lord the King will bow on his knees before you and we will accept your God. The King did that and both acknowledged the true God.

What i see in this story is this: For the first time, the Lord introduced the LIght into a dark nation, and God used Patrick to bring Christianity to Ireland.

I wonder what Patrick would think about his celebration if he could observe it today? Hummm.

Thank about it as you celebrate. Be safe, have fun, Praise the Lord.
Love & Prayers,Johnny & Patty

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