Lent with the Saints – Brave and Forgiving

Post Date: March 17, 2023
Author: Laura Stephens

“Christ with me,
Christ before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ in me”
– St. Patrick (Breastplate)

Green might be considered important and lucky today, but on this feast day of St. Patrick’s we reflect upon his bold faith, bravery in the face of danger, and genuine forgiveness.

St Patrick was born in Great Britain to a Christian family but he himself drifted from the faith.  As a teen, he was kidnapped by Irish pirates. Until 22 years of age, he was a slave, mostly working as a shepherd. The conditions were harsh; but, during that time, his fervent love for God grew in the long hours.

In a dream, he heard God telling him to escape and showing him the way. He was successful and made his way back to Britain. Once there he was reunited with his family. Within a few years, he had another vision that he describes as such:

“I saw a man coming, as it were from Ireland. His name was Victoricus, and he carried many letters, and he gave me one of them. I read the heading: ‘The Voice of the Irish.’ As I began the letter, I imagined in that moment that I heard the voice of those very people who were near the wood of Foclut, which is beside the western sea-and they cried out, as with one voice: ‘We appeal to you, holy servant boy, to come and walk among us.'” (Saint)

This vision led him with boldness to study for the priesthood. Despite opposition, he had the full intention of returning to Ireland to preach the good news. He was ordained a bishop and finally given permission to do mission work in Ireland.

“It was not any grace in me, but God who conquereth in me, and He resisted them all, so that I came to the heathen of Ireland to preach the Gospel and to bear insults from unbelievers, to hear the reproach of my going abroad and to endure many persecutions even unto bonds, the while that I was surrendering my liberty as a man of free condition for the profit of others. And if I should be found worthy, I am ready to give even my life for His name’s sake unfalteringly and gladly, and there (in Ireland) I desire to spend it until I die, if our Lord should grant it to me.” (St Patrick)

Upon arriving back in Ireland, he met with even greater resistance especially by the pagan druids for they did not want to hear of the one true God or have their power threatened. Over the years, they would imprison him and attempt to kill him, but God always protected Patrick and helped him to escape their attempts against him.

His brave dedication to the faith and bold preaching had a profound impression upon the Irish people. Over time, he converted many Irish chieftains who became his followers and supporters. He built churches and monasteries throughout Ireland to support the new converts.

“Yet hostility and violence still existed, for he writes later, “Daily I expect either a violent death, or robbery and a return to slavery, or some other calamity.” He adds, like the good Christian he was, “I have cast myself into the hands of Almighty God, for He rules everything.”” (St Patrick)

In the face of such opposition, St Patrick showed extreme bravery and dedication for spreading the faith. During the 40 years of mission work in Ireland, St. Patrick worked miracles and converted thousands of people to the Catholic faith in Ireland.

Often depicted with a shamrock, it reminds us of his unwavering devotion to teach about the Holy Trinity to the pagans of Ireland.  The shamrock is a wonderful visual for understanding one God in Three Divine Persons – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

St. Patrick truly put his faith into action especially through the witness of his forgiveness upon the people who enslaved him earlier in his life. Rather than turning this extreme hardship and cruelty into anger and resentment, he used that experience to lead him to share Christ with the Irish people.  He wanted them to know the incredible love of God for them. What an example of forgiveness and using the particular circumstances of his life to serve God!

Instead of looking for Irish luck let us receive a traditional Gaelic blessing to send us on our journey today:

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
the rains fall soft upon your fields
and until we meet again,
may God hold you in the palm of His hand.
(Irish Blessing)

For reflection and action:

  • Patrick used the years of slavery in Ireland to convert a whole nation. What hardships in your life is God asking you to use for His service?
  • Learn more about the life of St. Patrick. Watch this video or this other option to hear more about his life. Or listen to this fabulous audio telling of his story at https://www.saintsalivepodcast.com/episodes (Scroll down for St. Patrick and check out the other awesome saint stories they have there too!)
  • Pray the inspiring Patrick’s Breastplate. Though it is not known for sure if St. Patrick wrote it, this prayer beautifully conveys the bold trust of St. Patrick and how he depended on God for his safety and strength. May it bring you deeper trust in God’s plan and love for you!
  • Is there someone you need to forgive? Pray to St. Patrick to show you the peace and joy of forgiveness. Ask him to help you let go of the misery and resentment when we hold onto hurts and injustice.

St. Patrick, pray for us and for the whole world!


Photo by Nheyob, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Breastplate quote retrieved from https://www.ourcatholicprayers.com/st-patricks-breastplate.html

Saint quote retrieved from https://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=89

St Patrick quote retrieved from https://www.ewtn.com/catholicism/saints/patrick-722

Irish Blessing quote retrieved from https://www.irishcentral.com/culture/may-the-road-rise-meet-you-irish-blessing-meaning

Recent Posts

The Vinyard of the Lord

The Vinyard of the Lord

A Reflection on the Readings for the 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time Reading 1 Is 5:1-7 Responsorial Psalm Ps 80:9, 12, 13-14, 15-16, 19-20 Reading 2 Phil 4:6-9 Alleluia Cf. Jn 15:16 Gospel Mt 21:33-43 Our reading from chapter 5 of Isaiah and our gospel from chapter 21...

Who is Doing the Father’s Will?

Who is Doing the Father’s Will?

Reading 1 Ez 18:25-28 Responsorial Psalm Ps 25:4-5, 6-7, 8-9 Reading 2 Phil 2:1-11 Gospel Mt 21:28-32 Today in Matthew's Gospel, we hear another parable – 'the Parable of the Two Sons' – the second of three consecutive parables about vineyards. Vineyards are the...

Monica’s Praise Report 9-25-23

Monica’s Praise Report 9-25-23

Praise be to God! Praise be His holy name!  Praise be Jesus Christ, now and forever.  Praise Him who Is, who WAS, and who ALWAYS WILL BE!  Praise Him who is perfect Mercy and perfect Justice.  Praise Him, King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Thank You, God, for all You...

To Forgive or Not Forgive

To Forgive or Not Forgive

A Reflection on the Readings for the 24thSunday in Ordinary Time, September 17, 2023 First Reading: SIR 27:30—28:7 Responsorial Psalm: PS 103:1-2, 3-4, 9-10, 11-12 Second Reading: ROM 14:7-9 Gospel: MT 18:21-35 Our gospel passage this week directly follows last...

Miracle of Life – Weeks 31st to 34th

Miracle of Life – Weeks 31st to 34th

Just as you do not know how the life breath enters the human frame in the mother’s womb, So you do not know the work of God, who is working in everything. - Ecclesiastes 11:5 Though we have spent weeks studying the intricate details of the weeks of pregnancy, there...

Monica’s Praise Report 8-23-23

Monica’s Praise Report 8-23-23

Praise be Jesus Christ!  Praise be His Holy name. May God be praised now and always, for He is God and wonderful is He and worthy to be praised. Thank You God for your providence. Thank You for your guidance and teachings. Thank You for your involvement in our lives....

Who do you say that I am?

Who do you say that I am?

He said to them, "but who do you say that I am?" Simon Peter said in reply, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." Jesus said to him in reply, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father." -...

The Prayers God Always Answers

The Prayers God Always Answers

When I was a child, my mother bought a book called “The Prayers God Will Always Answer.” I remember my anticipation as I cracked the spine and turned to the first page. I had been spending a lot of time asking God — begging God, actually — over and over again for some...

The Choice of Stewardship

The Choice of Stewardship

What does it mean to be a good steward? Does it mean to be an active parishioner, or something more? Are we better stewards because we give more in terms of our money and time to our parish, or are we called to do even more than that? The truth is that stewardship is...

Encourage Deeper Understanding of Scripture

Encourage Deeper Understanding of Scripture

August 27, 2023 21st Sunday in Ordinary Time Isn’t it a bit weird that Catholics call the Pope “papa,” father? This Sunday provides us with essential Scriptural background on the papacy, the petrine office. Jesus gives Peter the “keys to the kingdom of heaven,” after...

Local Angels

(Our Sponsors)

For more information on how to showcase your business and sponsor this site, please send us an email.

Only 6 2 spots available, first come first served! One sponsor per industry.


View a calendar of upcoming events

Our History

Learn the history of our Parish

Clergy and Staff

Meet our clergy and staff members!

How to Become Catholic

Interested in becoming Catholic?

Sacred Heart Catholic Church

Mass Times

Sunday 10 am

Weekend Mass Times

Saturday Vigil

5:00 pm | 7:00 pm SP


7:30 am | 10:00 am | 12:30 pm SP | 3:00 pm SP | 5:30 pm

Contact Info

109 North Frazier St.
Conroe, TX, 77301



Follow Us On

Join Our Newsletter!