Skip to content

The Gospel Brought Patrick Back to Ireland - Archbishop Brady

Primate's Reflection on a Patron Saint

ARMAGH, Northern Ireland, MARCH 17, 2006 (Zenit) - Here is the text of Archbishop Sean Brady's message for St. Patrick Day's. The 66-year-old archbishop is primate of all Ireland.

* * *

Last week a group of the Holy Spirit Congregation came to Armagh on pilgrimage in preparation for the celebration of St. Patrick's Day. Among the prayers they offered was Patrick's own famous prayer for perseverance in Ireland.

It begins with the immortal words: "My only prayer to God is that it may never happen that I should lose His people which He won for himself at the end of the earth" ("Confession of Patrick," No. 58). These words remind me of the question posed by Jesus in the Gospel, "When the Son of Man comes again will he find faith?"

St. Patrick's Day unites Irish people all over the world. For Patrick has become at once a symbol of Irish history and of Irish heritage. But simply to reduce Patrick to a symbol of that kind, worthy as it may be, without any reference to his own Christian faith distorts the truth and in no way does justice to the real stature of the man.

Patrick was a migrant, not once but twice, to our land. Despite his rather scary first experience, amazingly Patrick did return but he himself makes it quite clear why he did so. "Before God and His holy angels I solemnly and gladly swear that I had never any motive other than the Gospel and its promises to go back to that nation from which previously I had only barely escaped" ("Confession," No. 61).

The Gospel of Jesus Christ and the promises which that Good News contains brought Patrick back to Ireland. I believe that any authentic celebration of St. Patrick's Day must somehow remember and celebrate that fact. A celebration that belittles or ridicules the values of that Gospel surely offends the man whose memory it is meant to honor.

Patrick describes himself as a "rustic," an "untaught refugee." But mysteriously in the providence of God, this "rustic" was chosen in preference to many others who were apparently better prepared. His choice had nothing to do with his culture or his education but it had everything to do with his own personal faith and with the fact that Patrick's God meant everything to him.

Next week, Intercultural Week is being celebrated. It is being organized by the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland in conjunction with the National Consultative Committee on Racism and Interculturalism in Ireland. The week will focus on encouraging a greater involvement and a greater sense of belonging for people from minority ethnic backgrounds.

The civil law lays down the basic standards but something more is needed to build a society that is truly inclusive, a society that is welcoming and respectful of people of different cultures, languages and traditions.

I would venture to suggest that what is really needed is the proclamation and the living of the truth of Christ -- a truth brought by Patrick to our land -- the truth of Christ who educates consciences and teaches the authentic dignity of every human person. The golden rule from Christ was: "Treat others as you wish them to treat you." Is there any better recipe for building an inclusive society?

+ Sean Brady
Archbishop of Armagh

[Text adapted]


Catholic Online CA, US
Catholic Online - Publisher, 661 869-1000



Saint, Patrick, Ireland, Brady

More Catholic PRWire

Showing 1 - 50 of 4,718

A Recession Antidote
Randy Hain

Monaco & The Vatican: Monaco's Grace Kelly Exhibit to Rome--A Review of Monegasque-Holy See Diplomatic History
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.

The Why of Jesus' Death: A Pauline Perspective
Jerom Paul

A Royal Betrayal: Catholic Monaco Liberalizes Abortion
Dna. Maria St.Catherine De Grace Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.

Embrace every moment as sacred time
Mary Regina Morrell

My Dad
JoMarie Grinkiewicz

Letting go is simple wisdom with divine potential
Mary Regina Morrell

Father Lombardi's Address on Catholic Media
Catholic Online

Pope's Words to Pontifical Latin American College
Catholic Online

Prelate: Genetics Needs a Conscience
Catholic Online

State Aid for Catholic Schools: Help or Hindrance?
Catholic Online

Scorsese Planning Movie on Japanese Martyrs
Catholic Online

2 Nuns Kidnapped in Kenya Set Free
Catholic Online

Holy See-Israel Negotiation Moves Forward
Catholic Online

Franchising to Evangelize
Catholic Online

Catholics Decry Anti-Christianity in Israel
Catholic Online

Pope and Gordon Brown Meet About Development Aid
Catholic Online

Pontiff Backs Latin America's Continental Mission
Catholic Online

Cardinal Warns Against Anti-Catholic Education
Catholic Online

Full Circle
Robert Gieb

Three words to a deeper faith
Paul Sposite

Relections for Lent 2009
chris anthony

Wisdom lies beyond the surface of life
Mary Regina Morrell

World Food Program Director on Lent
Catholic Online

Moral Clarity

Pope's Lenten Message for 2009
Catholic Online

A Prayer for Monaco: Remembering the Faith Legacy of Prince Rainier III & Princess Grace and Contemplating the Moral Challenges of Prince Albert II
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe

Keeping a Lid on Permissiveness
Sally Connolly

Glimpse of Me
Sarah Reinhard

The 3 stages of life
Michele Szekely

Sex and the Married Woman
Cheryl Dickow

A Catholic Woman Returns to the Church
Cheryl Dickow

Modernity & Morality
Dan Shea

Just a Minute
Sarah Reinhard

Catholic identity ... triumphant reemergence!
Hugh McNichol

Edging God Out
Paul Sposite

Burying a St. Joseph Statue
Cheryl Dickow

George Bush Speaks on Papal Visit
Catholic Online

Sometimes moving forward means moving the canoe
Mary Regina Morrell

Action Changes Things: Teaching our Kids about Community Service
Lisa Hendey

Easter... A Way of Life
Paul Spoisite

Papal initiative...peace and harmony!
Hugh McNichol

Proclaim the mysteries of the Resurrection!
Hugh McNichol

Jerusalem Patriarch's Easter Message
Catholic Online

Good Friday Sermon of Father Cantalamessa
Catholic Online

Papal Address at the End of the Way of the Cross
Catholic Online

Cardinal Zen's Meditations for Via Crucis
Catholic Online

Interview With Vatican Aide on Jewish-Catholic Relations
Catholic Online

Pope Benedict XVI On the Easter Triduum
Catholic Online

Holy Saturday...anticipation!
Hugh McNichol

Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Learn about Catholic world

Catholic Online
Inform - Inspire - Ignite

Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained

Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need

Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online

Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye

Daily Reading
Today's bible reading

Lent / Easter
Death & resurrection of Jesus

Advent / Christmas
Birth of Jesus

Rest of Catholic Online
All Catholic world we offer

Products and services we offer

Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books

The California Network
Inspiring streaming service

Advertise on Catholic Online
Your ads on

Catholic Online Email
Email with Catholic feel

Catholic Online Singles
Safe, secure Catholic dating

The California Studios
World-class post production service

Learn the Catholic way

Catholic Online School
Free Catholic education for all

Student Classes
K-12 & Adult Education Classes

School Teachers
Teacher lesson plans & resources

Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education

Connect with us online

Catholic Online on Facebook
Catholic social network

Catholic Online on Twitter
Catholic Tweets

Catholic Online on YouTube
Enjoy our videos

Catholic Online on Instagram
Shared Catholic moments

Catholic Online on Pinterest
Catholic ideas style inspiration

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2018 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2018 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.