If you’re not Irish today, don’t feel badly about it.  St. Patrick wasn’t Irish either, but he was kidnapped by Irish pirates when he was just 16!

Here is his interesting story, written for today’s devotion by Elizabeth Sherrill for Daily Guideposts 2016.  It’s an interesting story!

Living in the days of the early churches (387-461 AD), Patrick was a “cultured Latin-speaking Briton child , and son of a government official in Roman Britain”.  He was kidnapped at age 16, in 405 AD, by a “gang of Irish raiders who attacked his coastal village, dragged him to their boat, crossed to Ireland, and sold him as a slave.  Tending his master’s sheep on a rocky mountainside, all by naked through the long winters, always hungry, what sustained him was a single thought: Escape!

It was six years until his master’s absence gave him the chance.  Running by night, hiding by day, he finally made his way to the coast and across the sea to Britain where, in gratitude for his deliverance, he decided to devote his life to God.

It was at the seminary in France  where he was studying for the priesthood that the strange dreams began.  He heard Irish voices begging him to come back and bring the Gospel.  And, of course, Patrick did go back.  For thirty years he traveled ceaselessly throughout the island, teaching, baptizing, planting churches, and bringing learning and peace to the land where he received only cruelty.”

But I say unto you, Love your enemies…    – Matthew 5:44 (KJV)

Father, You gave Patrick grace not only to forgive, but also to turn wrong into blessing.  Teach me, too, to forgive and bless.  – Elizabeth Sherrill