"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 favour. 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." - St. Patrick
St. Patrick – Born in Roman Britain in the late 4th century, kidnapped at the age of 16, taken to Ireland where he was forced into slavery for years, escaping his captors and hitching a boat ride to Britain with pirates where he converts to Christianity, heading back to Ireland to help spread his faith despite the occasional beating. With the virtue of Patience, tolerance and love for the people, God rewarded his efforts with success. By the time of his death on March 17, 461, he had established monasteries, churches, and schools. He is known only from two short works, the Confessio, a spiritual autobiography, and his Letter to Coroticus, a denunciation of British mistreatment of Irish Christians.
St. Patrick is the Patron saint of Ibadan Archdiocese and also the secondary Patron of Catholic Church in Nigeria.
- Fr. Joe Akerele