The Influence of St Patrick is Massive

There will be massive celebrations tomorrow on St Patrick’s Day throughout the world.

St Patrick’s day is the second most celebrated festival after Christmas in the whole world!

Why is this? Although a small Island with a population of around 5 million today, Ireland has had a big influence in the world down through the ages. Descendants from Ireland have settled all around the world.
Ireland is positioned strategicly on the edge of Europe. There was easy access to the Americas, Britain and Europe by boat in the past. Nowadays Asia and Australia as well can be accessed by air out of Dublin. Two of my own children live in Canada, two in Scotland and one in England.

During the famine of the nineteen hundreds, millions left Ireland by boat for Northern America. In former days some Irish got free passage to the West Indies as slaves when Cromwell invaded Ireland. Again people were sent to Australia as punishment or got cheap passage in order to populate the new continent.

Priests and nuns went as missionaries to Africa and India. The Irish monks saved writings from Europe that could have been destroyed in the unrest in Europe. In 2007 when recession hit, many young men left Ireland searching for work in Canada, the Middle East, and Australia. Then in the 1970s many left Ireland because of the war and religious discrimination in Northern Ireland to settle abroad, whether in England, Australia or America. Many such people have longings to return to Ireland where some of their family may still live or want to see where their ancestors came from.

Ireland is known as a land of saints and scholars. Ancient Christian writings are stored in Libraries. Ancient ruins of cathedrals and Celtic crosses dot the country, leaving a memory of former Christian communities that prospered. We have had famous Irish singers and poets, dancers and musicians in recent times, keeping the Irish spirit alive. The band U2, the poet, Seamus Heaney, Bob Geldof, Sinead O Cannor to mention just a few.

I am writing from Ireland. Brendan and I wanted to leave Ireland in the late eighties. It was oppressive raising our children in an atmosphere of religious war. We wanted to move to Wales. We prayed and thought about it a lot. God directed us to stay. He cares for us. We were vulnerable as a young family and it was best to stay in Ireland rather that move some where we had to start to get to know people. I’m very glad we stayed.

For many reasons people want to celebrate St Patrick’s day. But let me tell you something about St Patrick. He was not Irish, he came as a missionary to preach the gospel to the people then living in Ireland in the fifth century. The same gospel is available to us today through the scriptures. The good news that Jesus died to forgive sins, heal diseases, set us free from captivity, and restore our lives from oppression and slavery and to give us eternal life in heaven. He had dreams and left writings that we can read and find out more about his life.

For fifteen centuries we have that Christian legacy in Ireland. I am a descendant of those people St Patrick first taught about Jesus. Exodus 20 says “those who love God, their children will be blessed to the thousandth generation.” I am one of those blessed, many generations later.

I want to remember our heritage and I pray that Ireland will again be a place where people are free from oppression and slavery, and our people will not submit to laws that will destroy marriage and our children. Ireland has been a good place for Brendan and I to raise our fourteen children. It one of the few countries in the world where abortion is not legal.

Come let us return to the Lord. God is alive and wants to help us in this twenty first century. So when you are celebrating St Patrick’s day remember who he represents. St Patrick is buried in a grave, history tells us in Downpatrick, near where I live. He represents Jesus whose grave is empty. Jesus is alive and lives to help us in our distress. It is good to follow him. Call upon him this St Patrick’s day. .

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Marvelous Monday, Signs and Wonders this past Week for the Irish

What an exciting and extraordinary week we have had here in Ireland.  We are a small island off the coast of Europe with approximately five million people.  Yet there are about sixty million diaspora throughout the world.  On St Patrick’s day throughout the world everyone wimageho has Irish roots celebrates.  It is the second most celebrated day in the world after Christmas Day.

Here is a photograph of Ireland taken from the International Space Station by astronaut  Terry Virts and tweeted on St Patrick’s Day.  Thank you.  It is wonderful to see our island from high above the Earth without clouds.  The sun was shining on us.

On St Patrick’s day there was celebrations and parades in Dublin and Downpatrick.  Other nations acknowledged Ireland by lighting up certain monuments in green.  Five years ago, the Sydney Opera House was the first global location to go green.

But this year, From the London Eye and Edinburgh Castle to the Leaning Tower of Pisa, global landmarks went green on St Patrick’s night.  More than 150 iconic landmarks in mainland Europe, North America, Australia, New Zealand, as well as China, South Korea, India, Brazil and South Afriimageca were floodlit with green light in honour of St Patrick’s day.

The Minister for Tourism for Sourthern Ireland, Paschal Donohoe, said: “The fact that 160 buildings have opted to go green to celebrate St Patrick’s Day this year brings an enormous sense of pride to our people at home and across the world.

“Being able to put ourselves front and centre on the world stage in this way reaps unrivalled dividends in terms ofimage publicity, promoting Ireland and getting the message out about our recovery and the progress we are making.”

To crown a wonderful day of lights there was a display of the Aurore Borealis, vibrant shades of purple and green illuminating the skies over Ireland.  Normally areas closer to the North Pole see this phenomenon.  This display of lights was not man made.   I believe God added his display of glory to end the day.  Behold the Glory of God covers the earth as the waters cover the sea.  Photo taken by photographer over Slemish.

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. (‭Psalm‬ ‭19‬:‭1‬ NIV)

God is described as the Father of Lights.

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights.  (‭James‬ ‭1‬:‭17‬ NIV)

On Friday morning I was working in the kitchen.  I noticed it was getting very dark outside.  I looked out and saw a dark cloud overhead coming from the east.  I thought to myself , “It must be going to rain”.  Dark clouds are not unusual in Northern Ireland.  During the thirty years of troubles every day seemed to be dark and grey.  I later found out that morning there was an eclipse of the sun where the moon covered over part of the sun.  Here is a picture showing the moon partially covering the sun.  This event seldom happens.  Photograph taken by photographer in Donaghadee, Co Down.

Jesus said “There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. (‭Luke‬ ‭21‬:‭25‬ NIV)

On  Saturday many Irish people were glued to their TVs  waiting for the outcome of the Six Nations Rugby Competion.  Eventually Ireland knew they were the winners after England failed to get enough points.  More joyous celebrations.  On Sunday the Irish Women’s Rugby team became champions as well.  A great end to special blessed week for the Irish.

 

photos shared from Images of the Solar Eclipse.