When Rome began to decline away from Britannia so did the protection for the Roman inhabitants leaving them vulnerable to the violent attacks of the Celtic slave traders. Rome was now only a few years from it’s end and the world was changing rapidly.
Around 401 AD, a 16 year old Patricius found himself captured and forced into slavery as a shepherd in a foreign land, language and culture. His close friends, cold and hunger, seemed to remain constant companions.
It was not long until the scriptures shared with him as a boy began to resurface in his heart. What he believed as nonsense when he was younger, has now become the only light in the midst of his darkness. On a certain day he began to pray. The prayers continued until he spent his days with over 100 prayers in the light and the dark would conclude with the same. His heart and mind were consumed with a new reality that caused the cold and hunger to find a new friend. Patricius found that their was no longer a rigid separation between this world and the next.
In his seventh year of his slavery, Patricius was awakened by a voice, “Your hungers are rewarded: you are going home. Look, your ship is ready.” His identity had changed from a slave to a visionary, empowered by the Creator Himself. For the next 200 miles, he miraculously walked to the coast without restraint or stoppage of the inhabitants. Favor was all that was needed from the ship captain to receive this former slave. They could bring him across the canal to go back to Rome. Favor he received and they departed.
When they arrived, famine on the other side. They looked to Patricius for help. He offered the simple solution in asking the loving Creator to bring his supply, which the men did in desperation. Then they heard the noise of a heard of wild pig running towards them. Not just food, but the favorite of these sailors. The Creator provided at that hand of this confident young visionary. Not long after, Patricius was back home with his family in Rome at the age of twenty-three.
Identity determines our future and is established long before the manifestation of all it’s realities. Another shepherd boy who would later become a king, David, found himself in a similar situation. In I Samuel 16:7-13, David has no real identity in his family except the young overlooked shepherd boy. Then God himself sends the prophet Samuel to speak the truth about who David really is, the new King. As a result of the words and declaration of Samuel, the Spirit of God himself changed David from the inside out. At the moment of declaration David was the King. Time would manifest the realities of these words. The world would not be able stop Davide from emerging in the reality he accepted. From the inside of this young boy the outside world would change forever.
In 432, Patricius awoke to the words from the world he was taken captive. “We beg you to come and walk among us once more.” Stabbed in the heart he awakened. Again the voice came, “He who gave His life for you, He it is who speaks within you.” Patricius no longer looking at his heart, but at the heart of others left for Ireland to the land of his captors. He became the first documented missionary outside of the protection of the Roman Empire. Armed with the belief where the slave master could become a liberator, a slave could be free, a murderer could bring life and the under class could sit with kings. He saw this happening with the simple message of Grace from a loving God. Christ in you the hope of glory. He went to bring the message of a God who loves human beings and wishes them success.
What was the outcome of this simple message? This message spread to people whom the Roman soldiers feared for their violent demonic displays. A barbaric people known in the world for their cruelty, slavery, murder and war. The place where Patricius had a portion of his life stolen. One would not believe had not history declared the realities.
By the time of Patricius death, Ireland became the first nation to stop slavery. Woman were elevated, and the violent warring was radically reduced. The new monks began to copy the Latin writings of Rome. This was saving a culture that was destined for destruction by the barbarians as Rome collapsed. With Rome of no influence, the monks of Patricius who were former warriors now sacrificed their lives for a different kingdom. They went as missionaries throughout Europe bringing the simple message of good news from a loving God, Christ in you the hope of Glory.
To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you the hope of Glory. Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. To this end I also labor, striving according to His working which works in me mightily.
“St. Patrick and How Our World is Influenced.”