READING OF THE DAY: 17 MARCH, 2013

Forgiveness - all within my hands

“Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.

But early in the morning he arrived again in the temple area, and all the people started coming to him, and he sat down and taught them.

Then the scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery and made her stand in the middle.

They said to him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the very act of committing adultery.

Now in the law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?”

They said this to test him, so that they could have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and began to write on the ground with his finger.

But when they continued asking him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”

Again he bent down and wrote on the ground.

And in response, they went away one by one, beginning with the elders.

So he was left alone with the woman before him.

Then Jesus straightened up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”

She replied, “No one, sir.”

Then Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go, (and) from now on do not sin any more.” -John 8:1-11.

SAINT OF THE DAY: 17 MARCH, 2013

st-patrick1

Saint Patrick
Bishop, Apostle of Ireland
(373-464)

If the virtue of children reflects honor on their parents, much more justly is the name of Saint Patrick rendered illustrious by the innumerable lights of sanctity which shone in the Church of Ireland during many ages, and by the colonies of Saints with which it peopled many foreign countries.

The Apostle of Ireland was born in Scotland towards the close of the fourth century, in a village which seems to be the present-day Scotch town of Kilpatrick, between Dumbarton and Glasgow.

He calls himself both a Briton and a Roman, that is, of mixed extraction, and says his father was of a good family named Calphurnius.

Some writers call his mother Conchessa, and say she was the niece of Saint Martin of Tours.

In his sixteenth year he was carried into captivity in Ireland by barbarians. There he was obliged to shepherd cattle on the mountains and in the forests, in hunger and nakedness, amid snow, rain, and ice.

The young man had recourse to God with his whole heart, in fervent prayer and fasting, and from that time faith and the love of God acquired a constantly renewed strength in his tender soul.

After six months spent in slavery, Saint Patrick was admonished by God in a dream to return to his own country, and was informed that a ship was then ready to sail there. He went at once to the seacoast, though at a great distance, and found the vessel, but he could not obtain his passage — probably for want of money.

Patrick was returning to his hut, praying as he went, when the sailors, though pagans, called him back and took him on board.

Some years afterwards he was again taken captive, but recovered his liberty after two months.

While he was at home with his parents, God manifested to him, by divers visions, that He destined him for the great work of the conversion of Ireland.

His biographers say that after his second captivity he traveled into Gaul and Italy, and saw Saint Martin, Saint Germanus of Auxerre, and Pope Saint Celestine, and that he received his mission and the apostolical benediction from this Pope, who died in 432. It is certain that he spent many years in preparing himself for his sacred calling.

Great opposition was raised to his episcopal consecration and mission, both by his own relatives and by the clergy.

They made him great offers in order to detain him among them, and endeavored to affright him by exaggerating the dangers to which he exposed himself amid the enemies of the Romans and Britons, who did not know God.

All these temptations cast the Saint into great perplexity; but the Lord, whose Will he consulted by earnest prayer, supported him and he persevered in his resolution.

He therefore left his family, sold his birthright and dignity, and consecrated his soul to God, to serve strangers and carry His name to the ends of the earth.

In this disposition he passed into Ireland, to preach the Gospel where the worship of idols still generally reigned. He traveled over the island, penetrating into the remotest corners, and such was the fruit of his preaching and sufferings that he baptized an infinite number of persons.

Everywhere he ordained clergymen, induced women to live in holy widowhood and continence, consecrated virgins to Christ, and founded monasteries, not without many persecutions.

Saint Patrick held several councils to regulate the discipline of the Church he had planted. Saint Bernard and the tradition of the country testify that he fixed his metropolitan see at Armagh.

He established other bishops, as appears by the acts of a council and various other documents.

He not only converted the whole country by his preaching and wonderful miracles, but also cultivated this vineyard with so fruitful a benediction from heaven as to render Ireland a flourishing garden in the Church of God, and a land of Saints.

He converted and baptized the kings of Dublin and Munster and the seven sons of the king of Connaught, with the majority of their subjects, and before his death almost the whole island.

He founded three monasteries and filled the countryside with churches and schools of piety and learning.

He died and was buried at Down in Ulster.

His body was found there in a church of his name in 1185, and moved to another part of the same church.