by Alex from Sulphur
|A statue of St. Patrick|
What is a hero? Is that a hero? Those are questions most people ask themselves after hearing a story of a man who helped some orphans escape a burning building or a story about a new coach who helped a baseball team win the championship. Yes, those are heroes, but I think that they are titled this because they do something for others, without payment or reward. One of the people I think fits this role is Saint Patrick.
He did not start as the patron saint of Ireland. Patrick was born in Britain in 387 A.D. He grew up and was educated at a monastery. At age 16 he was captured by Irish raiders and was forced into slavery. For six years he was stuck in Ireland until he escaped and returned to his family. Rejoining the church, Patrick became a missionary and returned to the site of his pain: Ireland. He then spent his next years on the northern and western areas of the island.
Only two letters remain that have come from Saint Patrick. The first, The Confessio, is more important than the latter, The Epistola, because it talks about his life and mission. According to Irish annals, Patrick died in 461 A.D. About 400 years after his death, he became known as the patron saint of Ireland.
|Saint Patrick |
One of the legends that revered Saint Patrick greatly was that he banished all snakes from Ireland. Of course, there aren’t any snakes there now, but scientists have evidence that there never were snakes on the island. They think this whole idea got started because the serpent, a symbol of Pelagianism, disappeared when Patrick converted them to Christianity. He also used the three-leaved clover, a common symbol of Ireland today, to teach about the blessed trinity. Some of the ways he converted the natives was pointing out the large quantities of Christians, like the propaganda technique bandwagon, and just acting like nobility so they would join his “noble” cause.
One of the ways I think a hero is praised is having a day for himself. Saint Patrick’s Day was, well, named after the guy. It is celebrated around the world, and it does not only have to do with the church. March 17th is believed to be the day he died. What better day to be celebrated? Just think, 1600 years later, and we still know this old missionary.
Yes, St. Patrick personifies what I think of as a hero. He has legends, followers, and celebrations. Patrick also did righteous and courageous jobs while risking his life to complete his mission. He helps others without gain, and he still is known as great.
Page created on 5/19/2009 12:00:00 AM
Last edited 5/19/2009 12:00:00 AM
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