As a community, we endeavour to grow in the spirituality of St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, acknowledged as such by Christians both Catholic and Protestant. His Feast Day is on 17th March. St. Patrick’s Testimony or Confession (“Confessio” in Latin) is by far the most important of the only two documents that exist today written by St. Patrick. Written near the end of his life in the late 5th century, it gives his account of how the Lord changed his life and used him in a powerful way in Ireland. His testimony is Christ-centred and scripturally based. In fact, he quotes in full or in part 70 different Scriptures including 22 from the Old Testament. There are, in fact, 8 Latin manuscripts of it that exist today.
Paddy Monaghan of Evangelical Catholic Initiative produced a very readable version of St. Patrick’s testimony in 2020. It is very relevant to us today and it provides a much-needed insight to our community as we contemplate this great saint’s spirituality and evangelisation strategy. It is so much more than a history or chronicle; it is a springboard and path to knowing and following Jesus today in the 21st century. This is the oldest and most important faith document of the Irish people. It is Céilí’s link to the beginning of the 1,500-year history of Christianity on our island.
As an example of how we can engage with and absorb the document, we show below how we can invoke the intercession of St. Patrick by linking extracts from his Confession below (in green) with the relevant Scripture passages (in blue) and composing a prayer (in red).
St Patrick Confessio
“My name is Patrick… and that is why I cannot be silent – nor would it be good to do so about such great blessings and such a gift that the Lord so kindly bestowed in the land of my captivity (Ireland). This is how we can repay such blessings, when our lives change and we come to know God, to praise and bear witness to his great wonders before every nation under heaven…”
Jesus said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptised will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.” (Mark 16:15-16)
We humbly ask you, St. Patrick, to intercede for us at the throne of our Father in Heaven. Please pray for Céilí Community that we, who have adopted your Patrician spirituality, may be filled with the Holy Spirit, and preach the good news of Jesus Christ clearly and fearlessly throughout this land through Christ Our Lord. Amen.