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'Godmothers for Life' serve vulnerable moms in Uruguay

Montevideo, Uruguay, Mar 18, 2018 / 04:41 am (EWTN News/CNA).- An Uruguayan non-profit organization called "Godmothers for Life" has been serving mothers in crisis pregnancies for more than 17 years, working out of a facility at Saint Jerome Chapel in Montevideo.   

The Catholic church where the homeless are welcome to sleep in the pews

Details:  Lack of sleep is one of the most critical health issues for the homeless. An average of 225 homeless people seek safety and rest on the pews in the sanctuary of St. Boniface church in San Francisco every day, thanks to The Gubbio Project. The Gubbio Project was co-founded in 2004 by community activists […]

Seeing Jesus in Ohio: Homily for March 18, 2018, 5th Sunday of Lent

As most of you know, last week marked the one-month anniversary of the massacre at the high school in Parkland, Florida—and thousands of teenagers around the country staged a walkout to commemorate that tragedy and honor those who had been killed. Different schools marked the day in different ways. Some schools placed 17 empty desks […]

Have you registered for the 2018 Diaconate Congress yet?

This is going to be a great event—and a chance to take part in a significant piece of history. The congress is happening in July in New Orleans, and is expected to draw hundreds (if not thousands) of deacons (and their families) from around the United States. It celebrates the 50th anniversary of the restoration […]

Hymn of the Week: ‘Lift High the Cross’

This is our recessional this weekend—a fitting segue into next week and Palm Sunday, and an appropriate coda to the scripture readings this 5th Sunday of Lent. From Wikipedia:  George Kitchin wrote “Lift High the Cross” in 1887, while he was the Church of England Dean of Winchester, for the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. It […]

How Guinness went from an anti-Catholic company to a St. Patrick’s Day icon

A fascinating read for this day—with this intriguing bit of history:  A slightly ironic twist to the St. Patrick’s Day connection is that Guinness was not traditionally a Catholic company. St. Patrick was a Catholic and the patron saint of Ireland, and the colors of the day are drenched in the symbols of the Protestant-Catholic […]

Saint Patrick

Sculpture of Saint Patrick of Ireland | Saint Augustine church, Baden-Württemberg, Germany | photo by Reinhardhauke
Image: Sculpture of Saint Patrick of Ireland | Saint Augustine church, Baden-Württemberg, Germany | photo by Reinhardhauke

Saint Patrick

Saint of the Day for March 17

(c. 386 – 461)


Saint Patrick’s Story

Legends about Patrick abound; but truth is best served by our seeing two solid qualities in him: He was humble and he was courageous. The determination to accept suffering and success with equal indifference guided the life of God’s instrument for winning most of Ireland for Christ.

Details of his life are uncertain. Current research places his dates of birth and death a little later than earlier accounts. Patrick may have been born in Dunbarton, Scotland, Cumberland, England, or in northern Wales. He called himself both a Roman and a Briton. At 16, he and a large number of his father’s slaves and vassals were captured by Irish raiders and sold as slaves in Ireland. Forced to work as a shepherd, he suffered greatly from hunger and cold.

After six years Patrick escaped, probably to France, and later returned to Britain at the age of 22. His captivity had meant spiritual conversion. He may have studied at Lerins, off the French coast; he spent years at Auxerre, France, and was consecrated bishop at the age of 43. His great desire was to proclaim the good news to the Irish.

In a dream vision it seemed “all the children of Ireland from their mothers’ wombs were stretching out their hands” to him. He understood the vision to be a call to do mission work in pagan Ireland. Despite opposition from those who felt his education had been defective, he was sent to carry out the task. He went to the west and north–where the faith had never been preached–obtained the protection of local kings, and made numerous converts.

Because of the island’s pagan background, Patrick was emphatic in encouraging widows to remain chaste and young women to consecrate their virginity to Christ. He ordained many priests, divided the country into dioceses, held Church councils, founded several monasteries and continually urged his people to greater holiness in Christ.

He suffered much opposition from pagan druids and was criticized in both England and Ireland for the way he conducted his mission. In a relatively short time, the island had experienced deeply the Christian spirit, and was prepared to send out missionaries whose efforts were greatly responsible for Christianizing Europe.

Patrick was a man of action, with little inclination toward learning. He had a rock-like belief in his vocation, in the cause he had espoused. One of the few certainly authentic writings is his Confessio, above all an act of homage to God for having called Patrick, unworthy sinner, to the apostolate.

There is hope rather than irony in the fact that his burial place is said to be in County Down in Northern Ireland, long the scene of strife and violence.


What distinguishes Patrick is the durability of his efforts. When one considers the state of Ireland when he began his mission work, the vast extent of his labors, and how the seeds he planted continued to grow and flourish, one can only admire the kind of man Patrick must have been. The holiness of a person is known only by the fruits of his or her work.

Saint Patrick is the Patron Saint of:


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Saint of the Day

One reason Toys R Us failed is more serious than you may think

An analysis from The Washington Post: There are endless reasons a big-box toy store would collapse during a retail apocalypse — and Toys R Us acknowledged a number of them in its most recent annual filing: the teetering tower of debt incurred by its private-equity owners, competition from Amazon, Walmart and Target. They even wrung […]

‘Hispanics are changing and, some say, saving Roman Catholicism…’

From The Columbus Dispatch: In Columbus and across the Midwest, Hispanics are changing and, some say, saving Roman Catholicism. Their population has been flowing into Midwestern and Northeastern Catholic churches since the turn of the century, said Hosffman Ospino, director of Hispanic ministries at Boston College, and Hispanics’ presence there is reshaping Catholicism and revitalizing […]

Visiting Boston? Stop by and say hello

Department of Shameless Plugs: If you find yourself in the Boston area on Friday, April 6, come on by!  That day, I’ll be the keynote speaker at the annual Co-Workers in the Vineyard of the Lord conference in Watertown, Massachusetts. My topic: “Living Our Faith in the Modern World.” I’ll be talking about my vocation […]