St Patrick, Apostle of Ireland
The son of a Deacon, he was captured and brought to Ireland at the age of sixteen. In slavery he turned to God, prayed earnestly. After six years, he escaped. Later the “Voice of the Irish called to him. ‘We ask you boy, come and walk once more among us.'” When be became a bishop, he obeyed his call and returned to Ireland. The enthusiasm of the Irish for the Gospel and the success of his mission surprised even St Patrick.
According to tradition, during a pagan feast when all other fires in Ireland were out, St Patrick challenged the pagan cult by lighting the paschal fire on the hill of Slane near Tara.
This fire symbolized the coming of the light and fire of Christianity into the darkness of pagan Ireland.
[Handworked in Irish Turf- Kerang presbytery]