Prayer: St. Patrick, you never let the struggles you faced break your trust in God and his Son, Our Lord. Accompany us on our own journey through a difficult world and help us to see the good rather than the bad.

Jesus is nothing if not direct in the gospel when it comes to laying out what will or will not get us to heaven: Belief in him and the One who sent him. That’s our starting point.

It seems fitting on the feast of St. Patrick, who risked everything—returning to the land where he had been taken as a slave—to preach this message. Believe! Believe in the Father, Son and Spirit, three in one, and keep Christ always before you.

Today we look to St. Patrick as a model of steadfastness in our faith and in our witness of that faith to the world. We may not have to convert a country, but if we can convert just one heart—perhaps only our own—we will have fought the good fight.

St. Patrick had every reason to be bitter. Taken from his home in Britain by Irish pirates to serve as a slave in Ireland, he could have become an angry and resentful man. But, after escaping slavery and eventually becoming a missionary, he opted to return to the land of his oppression to preach God’s goodness. Because of his faith and humility and his unwavering commitment to the Gospel, Patrick was able to see beyond the things that divide people and find the common thread that holds all of humanity together.