Traditions are a powerful thing in the subconscious of a people. The enemy knows that some traditions are so ingrained in the hearts and minds of the people that they cannot be destroyed, leaving the only course of action as slowly changing the traditions so that over the course of generations a once celebrated and beloved tradition is unrecognizable from its original form. Christmas has gone from being about the worship of Christ and the celebration of the birth of our Savior to a worship of commercialism and greed. The Resurrection of Christ now seems to revolve around chocolate bunnies, marshmallow peeps, and hunting for plastic eggs instead of around our Savior breaking the chains of sin and death. We should not be surprised then when the important Christian tradition of honoring Saints on their feast days has also been attacked by the forces of modernity, especially Saint Patrick’s day.
The change of Saints feast days being either made irrelevant or representative of rather unsaintly behavior is perhaps clearest on March 17th of every year, Saint Patrick’s day. The history of Saint Patrick and the traditions of our folk have been replaced with drunkenness, debauchery, and vulgarity.
While the remaining faithful head to the churches, the masses pack the bars. The legacy of Saint Patrick is one that should inspire Christians, which is why the elites do their best to make the name of Saint Patrick a synonym for the entire spectrum of worldliness. While Christians shout “Death to the World”, the modernists dope the masses with a mantra of “Do what feels good and makes you happy.” The venom coursing through the veins and souls of those ensnared by modernity comes from the fangs of the Jewish snakes and their collaborators.
Through drugs, pornography, secularism, feminism, the “bro” culture, and the push of homosexuality to the masses these modern day snakes are far more dangerous than any copperhead or rattlesnake you might come across. The worst a real snake can do is kill you, the spiritual snakes can do something far worse, kill you spiritually. These monsters must be driven out of our homes, our communities, and our nations. The traditions of our ancestors and the story of Saint Patrick should not be pushed to the back of dusty history books, unread by the people. Instead we must learn from Saint Patrick and revitalize his calling, to truly celebrate Saint Patrick’s day as it was intended.
The life of Saint Patrick began at the end of the 4th century in England. Patrick was born to a high ranking Roman family that were Christians, a not entirely common occurrence at that time. Although Emperor Constantine had adopted Christianity in the middle part of the century for the Roman empire, many high ranking officials remained loyal to the old gods and the old customs of Rome. Patrick in his youth did not share the same fervor for faith as the rest of his family and although both his mother and father were recorded to have been very devout, Patrick youthfully resisted living a Christian life during his teenage years.
Faith found Patrick at the age of sixteen after his capture and kidnapping by pirates. Being brought from a comfortable upper class lifestyle to being a manual laborer and a shepherd helped Patrick develop not only as a Christian, but as a man. Spending long hours in the fields of Ireland watching the sheep of his kidnappers as a shepherd boy Patrick was able to develop an active prayer life that would lay the foundation for his complete devotion to the spreading of the Gospel. After spending six years among the Irish people as a lowly shepherd boy, God revealed to Patrick the way to return home to his family and his people. Following the guide of the Holy Spirit, Patrick was able to travel hundreds of miles by foot and ship from his captors village to the doorstep of his fathers house. Now safely returned from years of captivity one would think that Patrick would have devoted his life to forgetting this experience and the people who had taken him from his family, but Patrick did the exact opposite.
Understanding the Orthodox position of preserving folkish culture while teaching Christianity, Patrick spent his time learning more about the language, culture, and customs of the Irish people. The Irish people at the time of his imprisonment were almost entirely either druids or other forms of paganism. Patrick sought to save the souls of the Irish people while ensuring that their true culture would be able to survive and thrive after Christianization. Just as God’s truth is in every living thing to some degree, Patrick understood that through the fullness of Truth of the Gospel that the Irish people would not only be saved spiritually but reach their God given potential as an ethnic community.
While having learned how to communicate with his captors during his six years among them, Patrick worked to increase his knowledge of local culture, lore, and customs so that he could properly minister to the Irish population. When properly spiritually and intellectually prepared Patrick and a band of faithful companions headed to Ireland to begin preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the various pagan tribes. Almost immediately after arriving in Ireland the word of this new Christian preacher began to spread. Multiple miracles and healings happened within the first days of the beginning of Patrick’s ministry to the Irish people.
It is said that Saint Patrick used the three leafed shamrock to explain to the people of Ireland how the Holy Trintiy can be both three separate entities but of one essence. Through working directly with the people and explaining to them theology in a way they understood, peasants to nobles were able to fully grasp and then embrace the Gospel.
Through an obvious holiness and humble nature, Patrick brought thousands to Christ and began establishing churches throughout the land. This spiritual growth and mass conversion to Christianity led the local druids and pagan leaders to attempt to prove the weakness of the Christian God. Tradition tells us that on Easter day in 433 AD that the chieftains of the tribes of Ireland alongside the pagan religious leadership gathered to see Saint Patrick. After preaching the Gospel a fire was set in the king’s hall, one which the pagan practitioners tried to quench. Through prayer and the power of the Holy Spirit, no matter what the pagan magicians attempted, the fire remained burning brightly. Though through communing with demons and other dark spirits the druids were able to summon great clouds, rain, and various displays of power, they remained powerless when attempting to put out the Christian flame that was burning brightly. With a final prayer the sky opened up with a blaze of light and the triumph of the Christian God over the pagan gods was evident to the assembled chieftains.
On April 5th 433 under royal decree the “Baptism of Erin” began. With the new-found support of the leadership of Ireland and conversion of almost all chieftains, leaders, and even the former druid priesthood to the one true Faith, one man and his utter devotion to God was able to conquer Ireland for Christ. In one day alone after Patrick preached the king of Killala, his six sons, and over twelve thousand people accepted Christ. Like wildfire, the previously pagan people of Ireland abandoned their previous lifestyle and began living a Godly and righteous existence. Through the collaboration of the monarchs and the people, Christianity blazed throughout the land faster than one could reasonably ever have imagined.
Saint Patrick is recorded to have driven the snakes out of Ireland in both a literal and spiritual sense. The pagan druids were known to have tattooed snakes upon their bodies as part of their rituals. The ministry of Saint Patrick worked to cast all of the snakes out of Ireland and into the sea, to be forgotten by time as the new Christian faith grew among the people. While maintaining the organic folk leadership of the Irish folk, maintaining the culture and language of the various Irish tribes, and working to Christianize the people we see in the ministry of Saint Patrick the Orthodox ideal of cultural, ethnic, and religious forces coming together to forge a true people who is in harmony with both God, His hierarchy, and His creation.
Until his death Saint Patrick worked to oversee the churches he had planted, squash heresy, and plant faith in new believers. Never satisfied with his accomplishments, Saint Patrick never rested from his mission to bring the message of Jesus Christ to his adopted people throughout all of Ireland. Although put on trial a dozen times by the druids and sentenced to death on more than one occasion, Saint Patrick never wavered in his faith. Through prayer, fasting, and communion with the Holy Sacraments of the Church, Saint Patrick was able to be a vessel for the Holy Spirit to make Ireland a shining light of the Christian faith for centuries after his death.
On this Saint Patrick’s day we as Christians should look around and see that what we truly need in this dark age is another Saint Patrick, to advance the faith and to cast out the snakes in our midst. Only through devotion to Faith, family, and folk can we hope to resurrect the spirit of our ancestral devotions to both God and community that drove our civilization in centuries past. Today is a day not for revelry and drunkenness, but for devotions, prayer, fasting, and the spreading of the Gospel. Saint Patrick pray for us, and may God bless our folk with a revival as powerful and blazing hot with the Holy Spirit as you once lit in the Irish people.