St. Patrick and Ireland
We all observe
and more so each day that this country of Ireland has lost its way. People are confused
with the constant revelations of wickedness that prevails in the Roman
Catholic Church. Where is the holiness? What is the TRUTH? Consequently many
are turning away from "the church" to other false religions such as
New Age and other eastern cults.
country wasn’t always like this. Following the death of St. Patrick, Ireland
became known as "the land of saints and scholars". Ireland once was
a thriving centre of Bible Christianity, a light to all of Europe where many
came from far away lands to learn the Word of God - the Bible.
what has gone wrong, why are most people spiritually lost? i.e. not knowing
where they came from or where they are at this time and don’t know where
they are going when they die. The disciples of St. Patrick knew they were
"saved" and without doubt, heaven bound, as Patrick puts it himself,
am firmly convinced that if this should happen to me, I would
have gained my soul together with my body, because on that day without doubt
we shall rise in the brightness of the sun, that
is, in the glory of Christ
Jesus our Redeemer, as sons of the living God and joint
heirs with Christ, to be made
conformable to His image; for of Him, and by Him, and in Him we shall
Patrick knew he was going to heaven when he died. He got this from the Word of
God, the Bible, for in it is Gods sure plan of Salvation by which we can know
how to be saved. (1 John 5:12,13)
is what the people of this country need, not a system to Romanise its
citizens, which can only lead to hell, but to convert sinners by the true
Gospel of Jesus Christ which leads to heaven.
time to go back to first principals and start again and examine the pure form
of Christianity that St. Patrick brought to this country.
was St. Patrick?
Patrick (A.D. 389 - 465) was the son of a church minister and the grandson of
a pastor. He was born in Scotland near a village called Bannavem Tabernia,
which is now called Dumbarton.
was carried away from Scotland to Belfast when he was sixteen years old by a
band of marauding Picts (or Celts). For six years as a slave he was a shepherd
minding sheep on hillsides. It was on these lonely hillsides that he turned to
God, it was here that he remembered the Bible words of salvation that he had
had previously heard from his youth but had neglected. As a slave he repented
of his sinful life and called upon the Lord Jesus Christ to save him. In his
Confessions he wrote,
16 ... in a strange land the Lord opened my unbelieving eyes and I was
was in Ireland Patrick found God and was saved from the punishment of hell to
receive a new eternal life in Christ whom he dearly loved and gave his life to
tell others with obedience and zeal that they would be saved also.
escaped from Ireland and sailed to England where he again was in captivity as
slave for a while.
receiving a commission (in a vision) to evangelise Ireland Patrick laboured in
Ireland for about fifty three years turning thousands from their pagan
religion, which was predominantly druidism, to Christ. Patrick speaks of
Baptising thousands of grown men and is credited for starting hundreds of
only reason for coming to Ireland was to preach the Gospel to its lost people.
"I testify in truth and in joy
of heart before God and His holy angels that I never had any reason except the
Gospel and its promises why I should ever return to the people from
once before I barely escaped."
a meek and lowly man with a humble and contrite heart, knew the Lord Jesus and
truly believed the Bible. Because of this simple faith in Gods plan of
salvation, Patrick is now in heaven, saved for all eternity. The message he
once preached is still as new today as it was then in his day.
message was the gospel of Salvation, which is in Jesus Christ.
was the message of St. Patrick?
both his letters Patrick begins with the words,
am Patrick, a sinner, most unlearned"
being filled with the Holy Spirit God enabled him to achieve the impossible,
i.e. the salvation of Ireland. When Patrick spoke, he was so well versed in
the Bible that almost every sentence out of his mouth was formed from some
part of scripture.
Patrick came from a Christian family he was not always a Christian as he says
in his letter;
And there the Lord opened the sense of my unbelief that I might at last
remember my sins and be converted with all my heart to the Lord my God".
is it that brought about Patrick's conversion?
was because Patrick realised he was a sinner and knew the punishment on sin,
which is eternal hell fire. He needed complete forgiveness!
is simply Gods plan of salvation or which the
scripture directs in the book of Acts 20:21
towards God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ"
Like Patrick we are all sinners without exception (Romans
3:23) before a holy and righteous God and we need to repent of our sinful
lives and by faith call upon the Lord Jesus Christ to save us. (Luke 13:5,
has put a punishment on sin, which is death and hell, but the good news is
that Jesus Christ has paid the full price, he has taken the full punishment
for our sin on the cross 2000 years ago. Now as a lost sinner, if you will
repent with all your heart and cry out to Him with all your heart to save you,
He will. Romans 10:13)
only can you be saved but also you can know it without a doubt!
As Patrick says it, "
And if ever I have done any good for my God whom I love, I beg Him to grant me
that I may shed my blood with those exiles and captives for His name, even
I should be denied a grave,
or my body be woefully torn to pieces limb by limb by hounds or wild beasts,
or the fowls of the air devour it. I am firmly convinced that if
this should happen to me, I would
have gained my soul together with my body,
because on that day without doubt
we shall rise in the brightness of the sun, that is, in the glory of Christ Jesus our
Redeemer, as sons of the living God and joint
heirs with Christ, to be made
conformable to His image; for of Him, and by Him, and in Him we shall
is not earned, it is a free gift from God!
writes of it…
"In the light, therefore, of our faith in the Trinity I must make this choice, regardless of danger I must make known the gift of God and everlasting consolation, without fear and frankly I must spread everywhere the name of God so that after my decease I may leave a bequest to my brethren and sons whom I have baptised in the Lord --- so many thousands of people.
" I must not, however, hide God’s gift which He bestowed upon me in the land of my captivity; because then I earnestly sought Him, and there I found Him, and He saved me from all evil because --- so I believe --- of His Spirit that dwelleth in me"
Patrick clearly was a Bible believer and the Christianity Patrick brought into Ireland was not Roman Catholic as we know it today. He recognised only the scriptures as the final authority in matters of faith and practice. Patrick came from a Bible believing church in Scotland. In fact Roman Catholicism did not prevail in Ireland until around the year 1155, i.e. over 700 years later when Pope Adrian IV took Ireland by force, having authorised King Henry II to invade Ireland. Ireland has a great history as a missionary nation and up to this period sent out missionaries to convert sinners in Scotland, north Britain, France, Germany, Switzerland and north Italy. In fact when the rest of Europe was in darkness under Roman rule, Ireland remained a light of the glorious gospel of Christ and became the centre for learning of the scriptures instructing students from all over Europe and further a field.
In the eighth century the Irish held so high a character for learning, that the literary men invited by Charlemagne to his court were chiefly from Ireland. But the invasion of the Danes about the beginning of the ninth century, and their occupation of the country, quenched this light. These piratical and predatory hordes wasted her fields, slew her sons, or dispossessed them of their inheritance, demolished her colleges, and maintained themselves in the country with the cruelty and arrogance of usurpers. Moral, spiritual, and literary darkness followed. All that was left were the memories and legends of the great saints.
the years passed, the raiders were christianised and communications between
the continent and Ireland were opened again. Sadly, the Christianity
being introduced then was very different from that which Patrick had
earlier brought. The simpler, genuine faith was overlaid with superstition and
growing eventually to full
Bishop of Armagh (1134-1148) was one of the first Irish Bishops to gain
legatine powers from a Pope. He worked hard to make the Celtic Church
Roman. At a Synod held at Kells (1152) under papal legate Johannes
Paparo, further steps were taken to enforce conformity to Roman usage. Four
Archbishoprics (Armagh, Cashel, Tuam and Dublin) were introduced and
the bishops wore the pallium,
a sign of submission to the See of Rome.
this was not enough and around 1155 the (English) Pope Adrian IV authorized
King Henry II to invade Ireland “to proclaim the truths of the Christian
religion to a rude and ignorant people” ; on condition that a penny
should be yearly paid from each house to the See of Rome. The Pope based his
it is undeniable, and your majesty acknowledges it, that all islands on which
Christ the sun of righteousness hath shined, and which have received the
Christian faith, belong of right to St. Peter and the most holy Roman
Henry II (1154-89)
1166 Diarmat MacMurrough, deposed king of Leinster, decided that he needed
outside assistance in order to defeat his enemies, High King Ruairi O’Conor
and O’Rourke of Breiffne. He went to Henry II, king of England, and obtained
a band of Norman lords (with Strongbow as leader) in pursuit of wealth
and adventure to assist him.
synod of Cashel (1172)
1171 Henry joined and completed this conquest of the country. In Cashel an assembly of the Irish clergy, presided over by Christianus, bishop of
Lismore and papal legate, proclaimed Henry’s title to the sovereign dominion
of Ireland, and took the oath of fidelity to himself and his successors. The
decrees issued at the
synod of Cashel mark the end of the (independent) Celtic Church and the
with the Church of Rome. The native liturgies were abandoned, and the
liturgy of the English Church was adopted. The
hierarchy did not regret the change. Under the ancient system, the native
chieftains were absolute master over all their followers, including the
clergy. A new
order was introduced by Henry II, and the local authorities had no longer authority over the clergy. To maintain his sovereignty over the Irish
clergy, the English
Kings filled up the vacant sees mostly with Englishmen. The Irish clergy,
meanwhile appealed to Rome to decide the question, or rather, to confirm their
nomination. Jealousy, hostility and disputes characterised the relations
between the English and the Irish ecclesiastics; the latter sought to transfer
their allegiance as churchmen from the sovereign of England to the pope of
that the struggle for
supremacy lasted for centuries.
changes were however not practised immediately. The people continued for a
while to marry outside the Church, they still refused to pay tithes. Clergy
in 1224 a son of Bishop O’Mullover, designed for the Episcopal dignity, was
Here's the Bottom Line
As a sinner, you
will face the wrath of your Creator unless someone perfect, and sinless takes
your place. The only person who could take your place was Jesus,
the Son of God!
never meant for you to go through life not knowing where you will spend
eternity! Think about it - your sins held Jesus to that cross. You couldn't
begin to name them all. And if you want to try and pay for them all, it would
take an eternity in hell. You cannot pay for your sins yourself, that is why
Christ had to die for you!
is no other way but through Jesus Christ for the Lord says,
I am the way the truth and the life: no man cometh unto the father but by me." (John 14:6)
This is the same plan of salvation that Patrick knew.
Plan of Salvation
1. You must Repent. That means hate your sins - all of
them, and agree with God you deserve hell. “God
… commandeth all men every where to repent” Acts 17:30.
Hate not only your sins, but also your goodness, and good works, because you can
never be good enough to earn God’s perfect GIFT of heaven. It has to be free!
2. You must
believe Jesus Christ is all you need to be saved from hell. Jesus said, “I
am the way… no man cometh unto the father,
but by me” John 14:6. You can’t get to God through your
church, your priest, or good works.
3. You then can FREELY accept the gift of
eternal life comes only from Jesus Himself. "The gift of God is eternal life,
Christ our Lord" (Romans 6:23). Jesus died to give you the
forgiveness of your sins. Talk to Him in prayer right now, and accept the
forgiveness that He offers you for ALL your sins. "The blood of Jesus Christ God's Son cleanseth
us from all sin"
(1 John 1:7). Jesus alone
is your ticket home to heaven!
Cry out to
God right now. Ask Him to have mercy on you, and save your soul.
whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved"
(Romans 10:13). It is that simple! Don't be so proud you would miss this
opportunity. Hell is full of good people who were too proud to do what needed to
be done, right away!