Then he said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. 11 There will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and pestilences. And there will be terrors and great signs from heaven. 12 But before all this they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors for my name’s sake. 13 This will be your opportunity to bear witness. 14 Settle it therefore in your minds not to meditate beforehand how to answer, 15 for I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which none of your adversaries will be able to withstand or contradict. 16 You will be delivered up even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and some of you they will put to death. 17 You will be hated by all for my name’s sake. 18 But not a hair of your head will perish. 19 By your endurance you will gain your lives.
And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. 11 And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death. 12 Therefore, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short!”
St. Patrick’s Day is one of the worlds most celebrated annual parties. It also has little to nothing to do with what it is or has come to mean today. You need to know the truth, and I’m here to set the record straight.
Has St.Patrick’s day always been an alcohol induced party?
The obvious answer is no. The answer to how it became the trite and trivial green beer bash spilling over from every Irish Pub in America has become is also quite obvious. Like many of the principles of truth and the great heroes of faith and freedom of our past they have become deconstructed by the God-less, value and virtue-less bottom-feeders of our political and educational institutions.
The deconstruction process that enables such loss of meaning and significance, along with the truth about St. Patrick is worthy of more than just a tiny leprechaun, a four-leaf clover, a pot-o-gold, a bowl of Lucky Charms, an Irish chuckle in a shamrock green top hat, and a glass of green Guiness beer. Deconstruction is a common process by which our current world diminishes and reduces much the significant, sacrificial and meaningful traditions and heritages of not only culture but of our Christian faith in God as well.
Let’s start with this… to deconstruct something is not to destroy or blow that something up. To deconstruct is to slowly take apart or dismantle a principle, truth, or ideal and to systematically re-create a new truth or narrative to replace the one that has taken time, sacrifice, and treasure to build and establish. The subtle ideas of deconstruction have come to the western culture from the earliest days of the Ages of Enlightenment – and perfected in the Age of Agnosticism. Basically, a four-hundred-year process that was intended to methodically and persistently deconstruct the historical events and philosophical ideology that challenge secularist and humanist ideologies. Because this week is St. Patrick’s Day I have chosen St Patrick to illustrate how the deconstruction process has worked. I also want to issue a warning to all of us to not allow the history and tradition of what is most important and meaningful to foundations of our faith and belief in Jesus Christ.
Contrary to article written a few years ago that St. Patrick was actually never canonized as a saint by the Catholic or Christian Church I offer you this actual historical evidence.
On June 9, 1186, no less than 15 Bishops, many abbots and high dignitaries and a great gathering of clergy and laity witnessed the official Solemn Translation of the relics of St. Patrick, St. Columcille, and St. Brigid, at Downpatrick. According to the account in the Royal Society of Antiquities of Ireland published in 1933. The ceremony was carried out with great pomp, some of the relics were enshrined and placed on the high Altar and some were brought back to Rome. Apparently the Church took this opportunity to retrieve a few relics to share with others wishing to venerate our patron saint, and appropriate shrine cases were made to house the relics. Most of St. Patrick’s remains were re-interred at the Downpatrick. However, sainthood is not the greatest significance of St. Patrick. The following is…
When history recalls the ancient Irish, the words civilized and cultured are never the language and description used. They are remembered as a passionate and vibrant, but illiterate and barbaric as well. Often the ancient Irish are referred to as charming, wild, impulsive, passionate, hot-tempered, corrupt, repressed, and unafraid, but never civilized or cultured - lol! In the grand scheme of Christian history however this people group from a tiny island on the edge of Europe had one of the more glorious moments in the developing years of Christianity. Around 600 to 800 A. D. the Empire of unparalleled power, and the great cities of the “Roman way” were beginning to crack and weaken. Some were ransacked, burned, and laid waste. Their best military days behind them and the Empire divided left them unwilling and uninterested in war. The Roman Catholic Church had already become obsessed with its own wealth and expansion which meant control of the monarch’s, kings, and countries of eastern and western Europe. This left room for the Germanic barbarians and heathen Gaul’s to rush through these great cities destroying civic buildings, libraries, and many of the great churches. They burned every book, scroll, or written content they could possibly get their hands on. They also destroyed any historical artifacts they could find. For all intent and purpose they “looted history.” But it was during this time, the Irish who were just learning to read and write, amazingly took on the mission of rescuing western literature. Faithfully and meticulously they copied everything they could get their hands on. Day after day, month after month, year after year Ireland would send these young monastic converts of Christianity as missionaries to the great cities of the Roman Empire where history was literally being destroyed. These Irish missionaries would return to the remote monasteries that began on the tiny Isle of Iona with volumes of rescued books, literature and manuscripts. Then they would begin the tedious and difficult process of diligently and methodically copying, translating and accurately rewriting all of western history (of which included most all of the known Christian literature to that date). These same Irish monks and scribes went on to introduce and evangelize Europe to the genuine Christian ways of life, faith, and Christ-like thinking. How did this historical salvation come about? It all began 200 years earlier. At the conception and heart of this mission was Ireland’s first missionary. His name was Patricius.
Patricius or Patrick (as we now call him), brought to Ireland the gift of Christianity. Not just any Christianity but a Christian belief that was for the first time de-Romanized. A faith in God and the Gospels of Christ that was free for the first time in history of the Socio-Cristo-Politco (my own word creation) ideology of the Greco-Roman world. Patrick was born in Britain. At 16, (along with many other young boys) Patrick was kidnapped, human trafficked, enslaved, and brought to Ireland by an Irish king. These slave boys were sold by the king to wealthy land-owners and placed in remote mountainous regions alone to live and work as shepherds. He lived a life of physical hunger and poverty, while each day he grew in spiritual strength. Patrick prayed each day to God for deliverance, he prayed for his family, he prayed for courage and for knowledge of the truth. Patrick would later write, “As a shepherd boy I would pray a hundred times each day, and at least as many times at night before I cried myself to sleep.” One night after prayer he fell asleep only to be awakened to a voice that said to him, “Your hungers are rewarded, you are going home. Look your ship is ready”! He was nowhere near the sea, but he got up and started walking. Miraculously Patrick was not stopped, detained or confronted by a soul until he had reached seaport. It was later discovered that he had walked some two hundred miles from his place of enslavement. At seaport he was able to find ship transportation as a stow-away and returned to Britain and his family. Patrick who was no longer a young boy now, but a young man living a holy life of vision, courage, and faith. His next few years at home were awkward and unsettled and his education was far behind that of his peers, but he continued his formal education and spiritual studies. Sometime in his early forties Patrick has a vision. In his vision, a man he had once known in Ireland visits Patrick. The man is crying and holding a letter that he delivers to Patrick to read. It letter says, “We beg you come and walk among us again.” He responds to this vision and divine messenger as a call from God and returns to Ireland, only this time not as a slave, but as an ordained Bishop. Ironically, it was Pope Celestine of the Christian (Catholic) Church who ordained Patrick and commissioned his return to Ireland.
Patrick’s Return to Ireland
In 432 A.D. Saint Patrick, returned to Ireland, arrived on to begin his work of evangelizing the Irish. Upon his arrival, he discovered that his battle for the souls of the people would come from the superstitions, spells, incantations, predictions of the ruling class Druids and their pagan priests. St. Patrick's struggle with the Druid truly began with one rebellious and bold act that has reverberated throughout history.
During the Druid springtime in Ireland they celebrated a fire festival known as Beltane. This was a pagan sacrifice ritual where the Druid priests commanded that all fires in the land be extinguished for a two-day period. Anyone failing to comply with this command could and would be put to death. Once all other fires were extinguished, the Druid priests would then light a fire called the High King's Fire (in submission and honor to the King), offer some form of blood sacrifice and then become the source from which all the other fires in the land would be relit.
Because this pagan festival occurred at the same time as Easter, Patrick boldly led by the Spirit of God to light a fire in protest and rival to King Laeghaire’s High Fire. As I said earlier, at this time Ireland was an illiterate and barbaric society formed around the sole ideology of conquest and superstition. The conquests are of strength, sex, and power over enemies – the superstitions are about mind control, emotional manipulation, and spiritual ritualism. There were no moral filters or physical boundaries for these people, only victories and defeat.
That night Patrick was staying at a mountain community and compound known as The Hill of Slane. The Hill of Slane separated by only a deep forested valley from the mountain ridge of called Tara were The High Fire of Beltane was taking place. Patrick resolved to make a defiant stand against the reigning idolatry and debauchery of the Druids, so he builds and lights an Easter prayer vigil bonfire which will clearly be seen by the celebrating Druids and their King from the mountain top of Tara. King Laeghaire saw the Patrick’s sacred fire, and asked who it was that had violated his law. Patrick’s reputation had already spread to the Druids – they knew exactly whose fire it was. They told Laeghaire that if this fire were not put out before morning, it would never be extinguished, and that the man who lit it would be exalted above kings and princes. Infuriated at these words, the King Laeghaire of Tara mounted his chariot as the day was breaking and set out to meet Patrick, at the same time declaring his determination to put him to death. When Laeghaire came within sight of Patrick and his companions, he was warned by his false priests not to go near the fire but to summon Patrick to come forward, and then the orders were given that no one should rise up to meet him.
Patrick was not slow in answering the King’s summons. As he drew near he sang the Psalm, “Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; but we will call on the name of the Lord our God.”
The Kings guard and entourage had dismounted, and, in the words of witnesses, “they were before him, and the rims of their shields against their chins. But none of them rose up before him, except one man alone, who stepped forward to stand in front of Patrick Eric, (son of Dega). Patrick stretched out his hands over him and blessed him, and he went to his knees and believed in God.” This was the first victory of Patrick on the Hill of Slane. The events that followed were even more remarkable. Luchru, one of the leading Druid priests who had so deceived the people by his magical arts that they threw money at his feet in fear as he would pass by. Luchru stepped out to confront Patrick and as he did he boasted to everyone that he had the power to ascend to heaven. Then, in the sight of all, he elevated from the earth. While Luchru elevated and hovered, Patrick, the man of God prayed, and his prayer brought Luchru down and he lay lifeless with his face to the earth – unable to move. This was the second victory of Patrick at Slane. Seeing this, the King and his people became maddened, rose against the Patrick and attempted kill him. But Patrick drew the sword of the Word and shouted out the Psalm 68:1, “God will arise, and His enemies will be scattered, and let them that hate Him flee before His face.” God heard Patrick. Suddenly a violent wind fiercely swept the plain of the mountain ridge, and in the darkness and panic that ensued, the swords of the guard and Druid priests were turned against each other. The Queen, who was present, was won to the faith in that moment. This victory ended the first day of Patrick’s struggle at the Hill of Slane in the Province of Tara. To this day a statue of St. Patrick stands before the ruins that exist on the Hill of Slane.
King Laeghaire, was amazed by Patrick but was so angry and humiliated that he defiantly left the Hill of Slane to go back to his palace to re-group. The next day, Laeghaire sent a message for Patrick to come to see him at his palace. Doubtless he thought, like many other proud Irishman when witnessing Patrick’s powers, “he was no more than another magician and that he could find some way to subdue him”
In spite of Patrick’s divine victories Laeghaire was even more determined to make another attempt on Patrick’s life. With this purpose he posted men on all the roads that led from Slane Hill to the Ridge at Tara. But supernaturally, God reveled to Patrick the King’s intentions. Patrick took with him eight of his clerics and a boy, Benignus, to bear him company. After praying over them, he set out on his way to see the King.
The royal guard of the King, who were hiding along the road in wait to slay Patrick and as they waited that day they saw nothing pass by but eight deer followed by a fawn on the mountain path. It was on this journey from Slane to Tara that Patrick composed and sang the beautiful hymn of invocation, known as St. Patrick’s Lorica, or Breastplate, portions of which are still used by the Irish commoners in their prayers.
Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ on my right, Christ on my left, Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down, Christ when I arise, Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me, Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks of me, Christ in every eye that sees me, Christ in every ear that hears me. I bind to myself today, the song virtue of invocation and the Trinity, I believe the Trinity, in the unity the Creator of the Universe… And so, St. Patrick and his companions, with the help of Almighty God, avoided the trap of the King. On Easter Sunday St. Patrick arrived at Tara, and appeared before the astonished King. Patrick would lead not only King Laeghaire to Christ, but also his two daughters. This conversion led to Patrick’s favor with the King and ultimately the evangelization of the Gospel of Christ to the entire people of Ireland. The Druids lost their power and position of favor with the King and the people on Resurrection Sunday in the spring of 432 A.D. Before his death Patrick was a living witness to an Irish nation that boldly proclaimed complete allegiance and faith in God. Along with the message of Christ, Patrick delivered the message of literacy - learning to read and write. Hundreds upon hundreds of young men received Christ, and became obedient to the call of the Christian priesthood, as Irish monasteries were established and filled the mountains and shorelines of Ireland. From these young converts were those who would become priests, monks, bishops, and pastors. They would continue by the power of God, and inspiration of Patrick, to lead the spiritual and educational revolution of this nation. They would lead the great and awesome mission of rescuing significant and essential religious and historical western literature being destroyed by the barbaric Germanic tribes as they invaded and plundered what was left of the Roman empire and it s wealth of ancient literature. In doing so they would substantially contribute to insuring the authentic delivery of the truth of Christ’s Gospel, and the history of Christian faith to another age and another world - our world.
The fact that we today celebrate St. Patrick in a way that is not even remotely close to the facts of how he lived and who he was is evidence of the “deconstruction process” that exists in our deconstructed American culture for sure. What other important and significant historical based traditions of culture and Christianity are we losing to this process? What will history say about us? That we lost our fire, put out our flame, and did not protect our history or heritage of faith and the Gospel of Jesus?
Or, will history say that in spite of an aggressive and evil spirit of deconstructionism that flooded our times we lit the fire, fanned the flames and burned brightest when it was darkest. That we held firm to our Godly traditions of faith and family and fiercely defended the Gospel of Jesus! Where is the fire of faith in God? Where is the burning flame of courage that lights and rekindles the way for the American Church to Biblical literacy and a love for the Word of God? Who is lighting the fires of resistance to the secular and God-less culture of our country and culture? Let’s do something different this St. Patrick’s Day – let’s honor and carry on the fire, faith, and courage of the real St. Patrick.
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