ABSTRACT

Friday is St. Patrick’s Day. On that day thousands of Christian people in every part of the world will be remembering Ireland’s saint and missionary. Let them not forget, let none of us forget, how it was that St. Patrick won people throughout Ireland, far and wide, to Christ and to Christian faith. What was it in his character which marked and gave him such power? History leaves us in no doubt. Patrick was a forgiving man, a man of reconciliation. As a youth he had been kidnapped and held in Ireland as a slave, and for some years he had suffered terribly. In the course of those years he became a Christian; and later, living on the continent, he was called to be a missionary. He goes back to the people who had ill-used him. He will care for them, win them, serve them in Christ’s name. “Who compelled me?” he says, “I am a slave to Christ for the unspeakable glory of the eternal life that is in Christ our Lord”. A man of forgiveness, a reconciler: can we doubt that his prayers are with us tonight, as we pray for the miracle of reconciliation. Miracle? Yes, that is what Christianity is about, miracle in human relationships.