Feast Day - March 17
St. Patrick was born in Scotland in the year 385. At sixteen he was captured by pirates and sold as a slave to a chief in Ireland. While tending sheep in the mountains he prayed constantly.
After six years, a voice from Heaven told him to go back to his home country, but first he went to Rome where he became a priest.
He was then sent to England where he labored for the Church for some time. He wanted, however, to return to Ireland, and he begged the Pope to send him there. Pope St. Celestine made him a bishop and then sent him as a missionary to Ireland.
One of the pagan kings of Ireland arrested Patrick. When he saw the miracles worked by Patrick, he said Tell us about your God. He has given you Great Power.
There is but one God, answered Patrick, and three Divine Persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Picking up a green shamrock he said, Even as there are three leaves on this one stem, so there are three Persons in one God. Thereafter he was allowed to preach the new Faith everywhere in Ireland. St. Patricks labors, covering thirty-three years, were so successful that during the Ages of Faith, Ireland was known as the Isle of Saints. He died March 17 in 461.
Taken from The Hours of the Divine Office in English and Latin, Vol. I: Advent to Passion Sunday (Collegeville, Minnesota: The Liturgical Press, 1963), pp. 1820-1821.
Epistle and Gospel for March 17