Feast of St Patrick
I live a few miles from the mountain where St Patrick spent 6 years in captivity from the time he was stolen by Irish raiders, aged 16, until he escaped. The hill is called "Slemish" and stands out above the local landscape, just like a mountain that wants to say, "I am important." Although the hill itself is just a hill, the man who lived there was very impportant. There was a Christian presence in Ireland before S.t Patrick but this had been brought back by people who had travelled to Rome or elsewhere in the dying empire. Patrick brought a living, fruitful faith to these shores. As a man he was on fire with the love of God and the Irish people. He came back after his escape to sever those who had imprisoned him. A lesson there! Before he died he oversaw the conversion of the island. He is buried in Downpatrick, Co Down. Tomorrow I think I'll go look at the hill. There is a little bit of history there! Most of all it reminds me of my Christian roots, something which is valuable and worth remembering. Happy St Patrick's Day!