The Legacy of Saint Patrick


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Today millions of people will celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with good luck wishes, parades and merriment. However, St. Patrick’s legacy has nothing to do with superstition and merry making. God used St. Patrick to bring the Gospel to a pagan culture. His legacy still endures.

Ireland was a beautiful island, but the people were in darkness. Druids ruled the land. Around 400 A.D., Patrick was abducted from his homeland and put on a slave ship bound for Ireland. He spent six years tending flocks for the Chieftain he was sold to.

Eventually, Patrick escaped and returned to his home and family. His faith was strengthened and he began to study for the ministry. In a vision, God called Patrick to be a missionary to Ireland. Patrick returned to the people who enslaved him as a boy.

At that time the people of Ireland worshiped multiple gods of the sky and the earth and the water. Patrick’s first task was to convince the Irish that there was only one God and that his God really did love them. Patrick was familiar with the Irish language and culture from his years in captivity, so he chose to incorporate Irish ritual and symbols into his teaching. Patrick added the sun (a powerful Irish symbol) to the cross, creating the  Celtic cross so that the result would seem more natural to the people.

In 432 A.D., Patrick built a church on the site of the present day St. Patrick’s Memorial Church in Saul — the first ever Christian church in all of Ireland. It’s considered the cradle of Irish Christianity.

Legend has it that Patrick used the shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity – the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Patrick’s ministry lasted 29 years. He baptized over 120,000 Irishmen and planted 300 churches. He died on March 17, 461 AD. His legacy has endured 1600 years!

One of my most treasured possessions is my great-grandmother’s Bible. It is one of the few possessions she had when she left Ireland and traveled by ship to America in 1898. With a broken spine and tattered pages, the Bible really is falling apart. But it represents the hopes, dreams, and courage God gave her to build a life in this new land for future generations. It also represents the faith she passed on to her eleven children. She went to heaven in 1950, but not before she left a godly legacy that continues with me. My spiritual legacy is also to pass my faith to my children and grand children.

How can you impact future generations?

Deuteronomy 6:5-7

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.”

Data on St. Patrick gathered from: http://www.cbn.com/spirituallife/churchandministry/churchhistory/patricius_the_true_story_of_st_patrick.aspx, retrieved on March 11,2015.

 

Scripture: http://www.openbible.info

Image: Google Images

Leaving a Spiritual Legacy


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2 Timothy 1:5

I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.

 

I have some treasures to pass down to my children. There’s my great-grandmother’s Bible that she brought with her from Ireland. I also have a bracelet from another great-grandmother. It has her name engraved on it. I have a few of my own treasures, special Christmas ornaments, jewelry and other collections to pass down. There’s the Bible, with hand-written prayers in it, when I prayed for my babies. With any luck, we can also leave them a financial inheritance. But these objects don’t really matter. The greatest gift I can leave my children is my faith. That is not a one-time gift. The gift of faith is a gift my husband and I give by example every single day. I can take my kids to church, but if I don’t practice my faith, what good is it? I’ve come up with a short list of ways to help leave a spiritual legacy for our children.

  1. Pray for your kids every day. And pray for guidance for yourself too.
  2. Pray for your children’s friends, acquaintances, teachers, coaches and other mentors.
  3. Encourage your kids to invite friends to your church.
  4. Be an active member of your church family.
  5. Talk openly about your faith, and what God has done for you.
  6. Read the Bible as a family, have family devotions.
  7. Pray in front of your kids – not just saying grace at meal times. Let them see you pray.
  8. Let them see you live your faith, like taking a meal to a sick neighbor or participating in mission projects.
  9. Let them see you give your gifts to the church, and teach them to tithe too.
  10. When life lessons come up, discuss with them how to handle them in a godly way, but talk to them on their level.

What would you add to this list?

I also thought this was a good article on leaving a spiritual legacy: http://www.growthtrac.com/5-ways-to-leave-a-spiritual-legacy-for-your-kids/#.Uo3qicSkqDs

Blessings on you and your family.

Scripture: biblegateway.com

Image: google images