Pastor’s Thoughts

Mar 14, 2024

One night in his 6th year of captivity, he had a dream to escape Ireland. He finally makes his move and escapes the prison and walks miles and miles to get to the coast and he hopped a boat back to Great Britain. Back in Great Britain, he spent some 15 years studying Christianity and entered the seminary and eventually was ordained a priest. In his work called ‘Confession’ he recounts a dream he had about the Irish folks calling him back. In his own words he said, “I saw a man coming, as it were from Ireland. His name was Victoricus, and he carried many letters, and he gave me one of them. I read the heading: “The Voice of the Irish”. As I began the letter, I imagined in that moment that I heard the voice of those very people who were near the wood of Foclut, which is beside the western seaand they cried out, as with one voice: “We appeal to you, holy servant boy, to come and walk among us”. Surprisingly, his Bishop in Great Britain sent him back to Ireland as a missionary to help convert the long standing mysterious religions that dominated within this ancient island. His dates are unsure. We know it was sometime in the 5th century that he lived and died. It’s speculated on March 17th in 460 that was his actual date of his death. If anything can be said for certain, it’s certainly the legends and stories that have grown up around this eventual Bishop living in Ireland. From snakes being driven out of Ireland to shamrocks used to explain the blessed Trinity, the stories are endless. Being of Irish decent and my family coming the US from County Mayo, I’ll share one more legend that you may not know about called St. Patrick and the Innkeeper. Long after Patrick died, there sprang up a legend of St. Patrick visiting an inn one day and accusing the innkeeper of being ungenerous with her guests. Patrick explains that there must be a demon hiding in her cellar and being fattened by her lies and disingenuousness to her customers. He says that the only way to get rid of the demon is if she changes her ways and repents. Sometime later, St. Patrick revisits the inn to find that the innkeeper is now serving her guests cups of whiskey no longer half way, but filled to the brim! St. Patrick invites her to come to the cellar where they both find the demon now perishing and he praises her repentance and generosity in the brimmed whiskey to her customers. Supposedly the demon leaves the cellar in a flash of flame upon seeing Patrick, and Patrick decrees that people should have a drink of whiskey on his feast day in memory of this glorious event of ridding the inn of the demon and changing the attitude of the innkeeper. This is said to be the origin of “drowning the shamrock” on Saint Patrick’s Day. Is it a real exorcism or just an excuse for another drink. You be the judge! St. Patrick, Pray For Us. Fr. Roach