Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Personal Aside: Let’s Hear a Little About Patrick Whose Feast This is, Shall We?


As everything in our country deals with Self, it is not surprising that on the feast of Saint Patrick there is much adulation of the Irish and very little mention of him whose life we are supposed to honor. The celebration of Patrick has been superseded by the Irish celebrating themselves. There is nothing more pagan than this charade here of dying the river green and having all the Irish Catholic Democratic pro-aborts…their Celtic faces puffed with pride…marching purportedly to honor a saint of a church they have no business belonging to since at any other era the whole bunch of them…the mayor, house speaker, senate president, governor, comptroller, attorney general… whole Chicago city council Irish population except the 41st ward’s Republican pro-life alderman Brian Doherty…should have been excommunicated for violation of the center-most stricture that has been in existence since the council of Elvira in A.D. 305.

I wholeheartedly include other faithless ethnic Catholic Democratic groups in this classification but the Irish Dem pols are particularly offensive in their trumpeting of ersatz cafeteria Catholicism: i.e. Catholicism that is all green with no responsibility. Top of the list is Andy Greeley, faithless to his theology to my mind, and for the last 15 years at Mass I pray for him after communion. I can only add that the fractured skull he received when he fell from a taxi while wearing an Obama cap has driven some sense of orthodoxy into his cranium.

Faux Catholicism by the Democratic Irish has been going on for many years. For one thing, their chauvinism drives me mad. Long before any Catholic espoused abortion…as a half-breed (half Irish, half German, named after my maternal grandfather, Thomas F. Cleary who started Joe Gill in the Democratic party…I remember my German father sitting silently while my mother’s Celtic cousins rattled off the kinds of Irish there are. They are, they said: lace curtain Irish, cut-glass Irish, shanty Irish, pig-in-the-parlor Irish.

To which he added: “bicycle Irish.”

Bicycle Irish they said: what kind are they?

To them he growled, “the kind that make your ass tired.”

I have always loved my father but I think I adored him after that.

Well, then, on to memorialize Patrick whose feast this is. His name was Patricius Magonus Sucatus. Of course he was not Irish at all but the son of a British-Roman official, born in a sector of Roman-controlled Britain. Patrick’s grandfather was a priest as in those days no law of celibacy had been imposed on the Western clergy. Patricius tells us in his “Confessions” that as a boy “I did not know the true God.” Then while straying from his home at age 16 he was kidnapped by pirates and sold as a slave to the pagan inhabitants of Ireland.

There he served as a slave for six years near Ballymena in Atrim upon the slopes of the mountain now called Slemish and went from there…still in captivity…to the coast of Mayo. They put him to work tending goat herds and in his loneliness he found God. He tells us how “constantly I used to pray in the daytime. Love of God and His fear increased more and more and my faith grew and my spirit was stirred up so that in a single day I said as many as a hundred prayers and at night nearly as many so that I used to stay in the woods and on the mountain to this end.”

At the conclusion of six years he heard a voice in his sleep warning him to be ready for an effort that would bring him back to the freedom and the land of his birth. Accordingly he ran away from his master and traveled 200 miles to the coast where he begged his way on to a ship and made friends with the sailors with whom he shared a difficult and frightening journey.

There was a shipwreck and they…the sailors and Pat…traveled through many miles of uninhabited land in Gaul until finally at the age of 23 Patrick was restored to his kin. His course was set and he announced his determination to become a monk. He left his family for Gaul and studied theology at the monastery of Lerins, becoming ordained in 417. Good bishops were scarce in those days and no sooner was Pat a priest than Saint Germanus ordained him a bishop and sent to Ireland in 432 where he was to succeed St. Palladius, the first bishop to the Irish, who died a year earlier.

On his own with full authority as a bishop, Patrick traveled the length and breadth of the small island, converting it to Catholicism, founding the cathedral at Armagh, stirring the populace to learning about the faith, standing firm against the pagan chieftains whom he repeatedly overcame by miraculous means. In his “Confessions” he wrote “Daily I expect either a violent death or to be robbed and reduced to slavery.”

He died in 461 in the midst of a great struggle as he condemned the slaughter of a group of Irish Catholics whom he had converted by an army of invading Welshmen who to his great anger (he had a blowtorch temper) were also Catholics. He died at Saul on Strangford Lough in Downpatrick and his following has flourished ever since.

1 comment:

  1. As always, enjoyed your column. I have now learned something new. I will pray not only for limosine liberals, but also bicycle liberals as well. Pray that they find the route that will lead them to humility, enlightenment and, above all, to communion with God.