Saints and Saintly Dominicans – 17 March

detail of stained glass window of Saint Patrick, date and artist unknown; Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, Knoxville, Tennessee; photographed on 16 September 2016 by Nheyob; swiped from Wikimedia CommonsSaint Patrick, Bishop, Apostle of Ireland

Saint Patrick was the nephew of Saint Martin of Tours. Whilst still young he was carried off by pirates and kept a prisoner in Ireland for six years. Set free on account of his discovering a treasure, he made his studies and embraced the monastic life in the monastery of Saint Martin, his uncle, who probably gave him the habit. The recollection of the sad state of idolatrous Ireland was a continual torment to his soul and, after ten years of preparation by prayer and fasting, he set out to beg Pope Celestine to send missionaries to that country. He was placed at the head of the expedition and fully justified the Holy Father’s choice. The King of Ireland and his people were converted, the designs of hell were baffled; monasteries arose, councils were held and this island, once the stronghold of demons, began to merit the name of “Isle of Saints.” Saint Patrick died after an episcopate of sixty years, at the age of one hundred and twenty years, according to some historians. He had a particular devotion to the Sign of the Cross, which he made use of on all occasions (491). One of the imitators of his zeal in Ireland was Father Patrick Thaddeus, O.P., who suffered much in sustaining the people and defending the faith, and to whom Paul II said publicly: “You have given a beautiful example, may you be blest for if.” (1464)

Prayer

O my God, support Catholic Ireland in her trials and increase her saints.

Practice

Use holy water to drive away from your rooms the ambushes of the evil one.