Sunday, March 17, 2013

The Real Saint Patrick

The real Saint Patrick, in his own words.

Following is an excerpt from Saint Patrick's Confessio, written in ca. AD 450, where Patrick tells the story of his life and professes his faith:

"My name is Patrick. I am a sinner, a simple country person, and the least of all believers. I am looked down upon by many. My father was Calpornius. He was a deacon; his father was Potitus, a priest, who lived at Bannavem Taburniae. His home was near there, and that is where I was taken prisoner. I was about sixteen at the time. At that time, I did not know the true God. I was taken into captivity in Ireland, along with thousands of others. We deserved this, because we had gone away from God, and did not keep his commandments. We would not listen to our priests, who advised us about how we could be saved. The Lord brought his strong anger upon us, and scattered us among many nations even to the ends of the earth. It was among foreigners that it was seen how little I was....

So be amazed, all you people great and small who fear God! You well-educated people in authority, listen and examine this carefully. Who was it who called one as foolish as I am from the middle of those who are seen to be wise and experienced in law and powerful in speech and in everything? If I am most looked down upon, yet He inspired me, before others, so that I would faithfully serve the nations with awe and reverence and without blame: the nations to whom the love of Christ brought me. His gift was that I would spend my life, if I were worthy of it, to serving them in truth and with humility to the end...

The whole of the Confessio may be read here:

Happy Saint Patrick's Day #1

The real Saint Patrick was a man of tremendous faith, courage and humility. Too often, these characteristics are obscured by the legends and pantomime that accompany the celebration of his feast day around the world.

Amazingly, two of Patrick's writings have survived from antiquity: his Confession and his Letter to the Soldiers of Coroticus. Here is an excerpt from his Confession about his calling to be an evangelist in Ireland:

"After a few years I was again in Britain with my parents [kinsfolk], and they welcomed me as a son, and asked me, in faith, that after the great tribulations I had endured I should not go anywhere else away from them. And, of course, there, in a vision of the night, I saw a man whose name was Victoricus coming as if from Ireland with innumerable letters, and he gave me one of them, and I read the beginning of the letter: ‘The Voice of the Irish’; and as I was reading the beginning of the letter I seemed at that moment to hear the voice of those who were beside the forest of Foclut which is near the western sea, and they were crying as if with one voice: ‘We beg you, holy youth, that you shall come and shall walk again among us.’ And I was stung intensely in my heart so that I could read no more, and thus I awoke. Thanks be to God, because after so many years the Lord bestowed on them according to their cry."

Find out more about the real Saint Patrick here:

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Prayers for the Conclave

The Conclave is scheduled to begin on Tuesday, March 12 on the traditional calendar feast of Pope St. Gregory the Great. The faithful are called to pray for the conclave, that the assembled cardinals be receptive to the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. What better way to do this than to remind ourselves of the glorious heritage of the office of the Papacy and some of the brilliant, wise and godly men who have occupied the Roman cathedra.

Too often, those who think poorly of the Church focus on the "bad" Popes. But one need only glance through the 2,000 year history of the papacy--stretching all the way back to the time of Jesus--to see that the good far outnumber the "bad". Here are some memes to help us focus on the outstanding virtues of some of the most noble early Popes. Let us pray to Almighty God that He sends His Holy Spirit to inspire these virtues in the man who will become the next Pontiff--the next Servant of the Servants of God.

Saint Peter, the First Pope
"Dearly beloved, think not strange the burning heat which is to try you, as if some new thing happened to you; But if you partake of the sufferings of Christ, rejoice that when his glory shall be revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. If you be reproached for the name of Christ, you shall be blessed: for that which is of the honor, glory, and power of God, and that which is his Spirit, resteth upon you." [First Epistle of Saint Peter, 4:12-14]
Read more about St. Peter the Liber Pontificalis, an amazing early work that every Catholic should own.

Saturday, March 02, 2013

"I am not the Son of God. I'm just a philosopher who wants people to be nice to each other." #ThingsJesusNeverSaid

What Jesus actually said:
"Amen, amen I say to you: If any man keep my word, he shall not see death for ever."

The Jews therefore said: "Now we know that thou hast a devil. Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and thou sayest: If any man keep my word, he shall not taste death for ever. Art thou greater than our father Abraham, who is dead? and the prophets are dead. Whom dost thou make thyself?"

Jesus answered: "If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my Father that glorifieth me, of whom you say that he is your God. And you have not known Him, but I know Him. And if I shall say that I know Him not, I shall be like to you, a liar. But I do know Him, and do keep His word. Abraham your father rejoiced that he might see my day: he saw it, and was glad."

The Jews therefore said to him: "Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham?"

Jesus said to them: "Amen, amen I say to you, before Abraham was made, I AM."

They took up stones therefore to cast at him. But Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple.

John 8:51-59.