Pray with... St Patrick
In addition to being the patron Saint of Ireland, Saint Patrick is the patron Saint of Boston. And though we're a network for all America, we're Boston grown. So, St Patrick is a special Saint and patron to us.
In case you don't know Patrick's story, he was kidnapped at the age of 16 in Britain by Irish pirates, brought to the island, and kept captive. There he learned the language and the culture, and 6 years later he escaped, hitched a ride on an outbound vessel, and made the long, arduous journey back home to his family. Once home, he studied Christianity until he felt the call to return to Ireland. He wasn't warmly received by Ireland's religious leaders, but eventually Patrick was able to baptize many thousands of people and plant a church there. He's credited with the conversion of a nation to Christianity.
Patrick can teach us something very important about the willingness to follow God's vocation for you, even if it leads you into totally uncharted, possibly dangerous territory. Patrick literally converted a nation just by trusting in God and letting God use him.
Today, we face growing secularism. In the United States, we are blessed not to experience the kind of persecution Christians in other parts of the world experience. Still, it's harder and harder to speak openly about religion in the public square. Conversations about religion are typically confined to religion only spaces and platforms. Though most people in America confess faith in God, a growing number of people identify as having no religion. Of those who do identify with a religion, a growing number rarely attend church. Popular media rarely portrays casual practice of religion, and in certain circles, overt expressions of religion are met with polite confusion.
With this in mind, the New Evangelization can seem like an uphill battle. When we look to Patrick, however, we gain a little bit of perspective. Patrick converted a nation that uniformly professed a deeply culturally embedded pagan religion. Patrick had to start from square one. That's an uphill battle.
What we're being called to can seem daunting, but if we we're willing to trust God's work, there's no reason we can't do exactly as Patrick did. Plus, we have a whole lot more going for us than Patrick did. 90% of Americans believe in God. A full 73% believe Jesus was born to a virgin. 69% believe Jesus rose from the dead. This isn't to say Americans aren't in need of catechesis and evangelization, but it paints a way more hopeful picture for us.
Will you pray with us and St Patrick for our evangelization efforts?
St Patrick, when God called you,
you did not let yourself become crippled by fear.
It can be tempting for us to dwell
on all the reasons evangelization seems impossible
before we begin to start.
Pray for us, that we might have the grace
to move past our fears,
and spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Thank you for praying with us and our 9 favorite Saints. If you're able to offer us financial support in any amount, you can do so here:
(Originally published 3/16/2015)