Happy Feast of St. Patrick!
A happy feast day of one of the world’s most beloved saints, St. Patrick of Ireland! Today is a third-class feast in the U.S. (and since we’re in Lent, normally marked as a commemoration within the Mass of the Tuesday of the Third Week of Lent), but did you know that it’s a Holy Day of Obligation in Ireland*? We know that many of you are unable to attend Mass at the moment, and our prayers are with you and all who are affected by the coronavirus. LiveMass continues to provide daily livestreamed and recorded Masses from several of our apostolates, with newly added live and recorded Masses from FSSP Los Angeles and FSSP Guadalajara (previously only recorded Masses from Guadalajara were available). We invite you to join us for Mass online if you can’t do so in person, and to pray with us for the health of the sick and suffering and for an end to this pandemic.
St. Patrick was, of course, not a native Irishman; he was born in Roman Britain round about the fifth century and first encountered Ireland in the rather unpleasant context of being captured and enslaved by Irish pirates during this youth. After several years there he escaped and returned home, but had a vision that prompted him to return to his former land of captivity:
I saw a man coming, as it were from Ireland. His name was Victoricus, and he carried many letters, and he gave me one of them. I read the heading: “The Voice of the Irish.” As I began the letter, I imagined in that moment that I heard the voice of those very people who were near the wood of Foclut, which is beside the western sea—and they cried out, as with one voice: “We appeal to you, holy servant boy, to come and walk among us.”
So that’s just what Patrick did. Today is a good day to pray for Ireland, that, in the midst of the errors of the modern world towards which she seems to be trending at a rapid rate, her holy patron may intercede for her and bring her back to the Faith that he labored so long ago to bring her, and to which she was faithful for so many centuries. +
O God, Who didst vouchsafe to send blessed Patrick, Thy Confessor and Bishop, to preach Thy glory to the nations: grant, by his merits and intercession, that whatever Thou commandest us to do, we may by Thy mercy be able to fulfill.
– Collect for the feast of St. Patrick
*Normally. The coronavirus has affected Sunday/holyday obligations at many dioceses around the world, so if you live in Ireland, check with your diocese.
March 17, 2020