Feast Days

St Patrick was born very probably in the early years of the fifth century in the Roman colony of Britain. He was taken captive at the age of sixteen and brought to Ireland where he was sold as a slave. He tended herds on Slemish mountain for six years. his captivity had a very positive effect on his spiritual life. He prayed many times each day, his faith growing stronger and his love and reverence for God increasing. He escaped back home at the age of twenty-two. It was obvious to him that God wa calling him to return to convert the Irish. The voice of the Irish was calling him to come and walk among them once more. He studied, probably in France, returned to Ireland as a bishop c.457-61 or as early as 432 according to another tradition. His mission was not immediately successful but eventually he would make a tremendous number of converts. Two writings survive: the Letter to Coroticus, a protest to the soldiers of a British prince who had killed some converts and sold others as slaves, and his Confession, written near the end of his life, showing him as one living by the faith he preached and allowing Christ to direct his whole life. He died in 491, though again other dates have neen suggested, 480 or as early as 461.

Today is the anniversary of the episcopal ordination of Most Rev. John Magee, 17th March 1987.

Monday, March 18th, St Cyril of Jerusalem, 315-386, Bishop of Jerusalem. He excelled as a catechist and administrator, and suffered exile in his fight against heresy.

Tuesday, March 19th, St. Joseph, Husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary, “The virtues of St. Joseph have been the object of ecclesial reflection down through the centuries, especially the more recent centuries. Among those virtues the following stand out: faith, with which he fully accepted God’s salvific plan; prompt and silent obedience to the will of God; love for and fulfilment of the law; true piety; fortitude in time of trial; chaste love for the Blessed Virgin Mary; a dutiful exercise of his paternal authority; and fruitful reticence.”
(Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy, 219)

The Feast of St. Joseph is the anniversary of the inauguration of the Petrine ministry of Pope Francis, Bishop of Rome, in 2013.