In today’s day and age, at least in the USA, the memorial of Saint Patrick is often used as an excuse for debauchery. Cities color their rivers green and people go to bars. Saint Patrick would tell these people to use their energy to pray and sacrifice.
A good biography of him can be found here.
Saint Patrick would have no time for the wild sinful partying that happens in his name. He would call, as he called all of Ireland, to convert to Christ and the Catholic Faith where the truth, true happiness, and joy are found. He would recognize the proper human desire for joy and celebration and point us all to the source of true happiness: Jesus Christ, God the Father, and the Holy Spirit.
He is credited with driving the snakes out of Ireland, but technically snakes have been gone for about 10,000 years from Ireland. In any case he drove the snakes of violence and paganism out. May he drive the snakes of the heresies of hedonism, materialism, atheism, relativism, paganism, etc. out of our world. He stood firm as a rock against the tides that rose up, because Christ withstands and rises above all the fads that crash and fall. Jesus promised that gates of hell would not prevail against the Church.
Saint Patrick should inspire all of us: the truth of the Faith, the truth of the Gospel is a bright light in the darkness. We are all called to be witnesses to Jesus Christ and the Catholic Faith, and we need to have a deep prayer life in order to allow the light of the Blessed Trinity to shine forth and bring souls to Christ. We must do what we are able to learn the Faith and live the Faith–read some of the Catechism, read some books on the faith, listen to Catholic Radio such as WAOB or Relevant Radio. EWTN also has some excellent programs on television.
Here are some great articles on living the Faith.
Here is the section from his Confessions which is found in today’s Office of Readings:
From the Confession of Saint Patrick, bishop
(Cap 14-16: PL 53, 808-809)
Through me many peoples have been reborn in God
I give unceasing thanks to my God, who kept me faithful in the day of my testing. Today I can offer him sacrifice with confidence, giving myself as a living victim to Christ, my Lord, who kept me safe through all my trials. I can say now: Who am I, Lord, and what is my calling, that you worked through me with such divine power? You did all this so that today among the Gentiles I might constantly rejoice and glorify your name wherever I may be, both in prosperity and in adversity. You did it so that, whatever happened to me, I might accept good and evil equally, always giving thanks to God. God showed me how to have faith in him for ever, as one who is never to be doubted. He answered my prayer in such a way that in the last days, ignorant though I am, I might be bold enough to take up so holy and so wonderful a task, and imitate in some degree those whom the Lord had so long ago foretold as heralds of his Gospel, bearing witness to all nations.
How did I get this wisdom, that was not mine before? I did not know the number of my days, or have knowledge of God. How did so great and salutary a gift come to me, the gift of knowing and loving God, though at the cost of homeland and family? I came to the Irish peoples to preach the Gospel and endure the taunts of unbelievers, putting up with reproaches about my earthly pilgrimage, suffering many persecutions, even bondage, and losing my birthright of freedom for the benefit of others.
If I am worthy, I am ready also to give up my life, without hesitation and most willingly, for his name. I want to spend myself in that country, even in death, if the Lord should grant me this favor. I am deeply in his debt, for he gave me the great grace that through me many peoples should be reborn in God, and then made perfect by confirmation and everywhere among them clergy ordained for a people so recently coming to believe, one people gathered by the Lord from the ends of the earth. As God had prophesied of old through the prophets: The nations shall come to you from the ends of the earth, and say: “How false are the idols made by our fathers: they are useless.” In another prophecy he said: I have set you as a light among the nations, to bring salvation to the ends of the earth.
It is among that people that I want to wait for the promise made by him, who assuredly never tells a lie. He makes this promise in the Gospel: They shall come from the east and west, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. This is our faith: believers are to come from the whole world.
Saint Patrick, Ora pro nobis!