Who was St. Patrick? I have to confess I didn’t know. For many years I celebrated St. Patrick’s Day much like everyone else by wearing green and/or lifting a drink with friends. It wasn’t until today that I came to know the man after reading the translated version of
Written in his own words the reader comes to know how a young boy was taken from his home in England only to become a slave in Ireland. As I read through his confession there was no mistaking his issues with low self-esteem and lack of worthiness. However, when it came to the relationship he developed with his God, St. Patrick was convinced of His presence and felt confident in his own role to carry the message.
With my interest in modern-day slavery I couldn’t help but be drawn to what he shared particularly as it pertained to women.
“But greatest is the suffering of those women who live in slavery. All the time they have to endure terror and threats.”
That lead me to believe that he was not only processing his own suffering but had deep empathy for those who often suffered more. My mind drifted to the many women who right now are enduring such terror and threats. In moments of great fear and pain do they pray or reach for something stronger within themselves in order to believe they will live to see another day?
“Daily I expect murder, fraud, or captivity, or whatever it may be; but I fear none of these things because of the promises of heaven.”
It is apparent that his belief in God saved him from both physical and mental pain — unless it was the result of such pain that he became that way. No matter what his reason for devotion the boy Patrick went on to become more than his tragic beginning.
It should be noted that slavery victims are often judged by society just as their captors but what is the hardest to endure is a survivors self-inflicted judgement. It is my hope that survivors of slavery can eventually come to find freedom and peace within themselves, however they may get there.
“And I did not realize at once the grace that was then in me; now I understand that I should have done so before.”