Saint Patrick and a Bit O’ Irish History


The Real Saint Patrick

Interested in learning the real truth about Saint Patrick? You have come to the right place! Saint Patrick’s Confession and his Letter to the Soldiers of Coroticus are the only two surviving documents from the man himself. And you must have some Irish in ya cuz, lucky for you, I have recorded audio of both of these documents in some previous podcasts! Here they are:

What’s in this Episode?

The podcast featured in this post is a hilarious episode where my friend Michael and I break out our best Irish brogue and chatted about certain aspects of Patricks story. We also read and discuss some of his Letter to the Soldiers. We get into the Irish Potato famine of 1846 and what came of that.


Saint Patrick Show Notes:

First of all we talk about how Patrick models The Fear of God – this speaks of a deep reverence, respect, and honor for God. “The Fear of God” has been rendered as “reverential trust” by some and I really like that. Especially the trust part. Isn’t love, adoration, and trust a far more beautiful motivation for living a good life than being dictated by fear of consequences or the coming judgement?

Patrick seems like he is mimicking the apostle Paul in so much of his writing.  He seems to model Pauls letters as if, just before writing his confession, he had just read or studied Paul’s letters to Timothy.

I find one fault however in Patrick’s theology.  He didn’t seem to quite connect with the fact that he has a new nature as a believer. He continually calls himself a sinner and perhaps his actions convinced him of this, yet God and the holy Bible calls him a saint. This is important because our perception of ourselves dictates our actions.

How important is it to see ourselves as saints as God has made us?

Which is more true, God’s word about your new nature or your own faltering experience?

You are a saint if you have received Christ!

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17

Drunkenness is Idolatry?

We discuss the fact that a life of choosing sin is the evidence of rejecting God:

“Don’t you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people—none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God.

Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” – 1 Corinthians 6:9-11

Potato famine 1845 to 1849

We talk about the Irish PBS Victoria episode in which Victoria asks herself, “What can we do to do what is right for conscience sake? Do we do nothing? and quotes 1 Corinthians 13, “faith hope and love (charity) and the greatest of these is charity”.

Robert Traill was recognized for his compassion during the Great Famine in Ireland from 1846.

His story reminds me of the machine gun preacher who invested his all into service for others and the kingdom of God.

Especially relevant to us is the question:

What should our response be to crisis in our sphere at the present?

How do we practically show love to those in need around us?

Love (or charity as the KJV puts it) is the only answer. “Charity” is indicative of action, is it not?

James chapter 2 says:

“What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do?

So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless. Now someone may argue, “Some people have faith; others have good deeds.” But I say, “How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deeds? I will show you my faith by my good deeds.”

You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God.f Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror. How foolish! Can’t you see that faith without good deeds is useless?”

In conclusion, the holy Scriptures inform us that when love is put into action that we light up. Our enlightenment only comes through showing tangible love. May we all follow the advice of Jesus and love the people that we are with in the moment as we go through life!

Saint Patrick Letter to the Soldiers of Coroticus

life of st patrick

This letter of Saint Patrick to the soldiers of Coroticus is one of two documents that scholars think were penned by Patrick himself. The other is St Patrick’s Confession which I did a reading of and wrote a blog about here: St Patricks Confession

If you would like to read Patrick’s Letter to the Soldiers for yourself, here is where you can find it:

In the following Youtube video (which is different from the podcast reading of the letter above!) Michael and I discuss with great humor and insight the life of St Patrick and touch upon some of the details of this letter. We talk in Irish accents and joke around a great deal! It was truly one of the funniest and funnest  episode I have done to date!

Contents of Patricks Letter to the Soldiers of Coroticus

I find that Patrick is quite serious about Scripture! He has a healthy fear of God that we could all learn from. Patrick notes the fact that if Jesus and the Apostles never lied, and neither should we. We must remain faithful to the truth even if all the world around us refuses to.

The truth often stings. Especially when it is a word of rebuke or correction. But the Scriptures are for this very purpose!

“All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.” 2 Timothy 3:16

Patrick’s letter points out the obvious, that there are severe consequences for our poor actions. Crime never pays. That sin bears it’s own punishment. You will reap what you sow. He quotes Scripture again and again proving his case.

Love and the transforming power of the Good News of Jesus is the only answer!