What would you do if you were kidnapped at age 16, sold as a slave, and taken to another country? The real question is what would you do if you were able to escape?
This is what St. Patrick faced in his early 20’s. After escaping from enslavement in Ireland, he returned home to his jubilant family in England and was ready to “begin his life.” However, he felt a deep compassion for the predominately pagan people that he left behind in Ireland….Yes, the people who kidnapped and enslaved him! He could not ignore the strong call he felt in his heart and it was not long before he returned to the lush green land to shepherd the Irish.
Returning to the country of his enslavement was not an easy task, much less his attempt to evangelize the people. However, with the grace of God, St.Patrick had the courage to return and win most of Ireland for Christ.
In this Lenten Season, we remember the merciful forgiveness that St. Patrick had for his captors and the merciful love in which he instructed the Irish, and we pray:
Lord, help us to show merciful, forgiving love like St. Patrick; especially towards those who have hurt us. Amen.