Today we commemorate the life of one of the greatest and most courageous missionaries in the history of the Church: St. Sucat. Sucat (who changed his name to “Patrick” some time prior to 432 A.D.) became the patron saint of Ireland for his labors in spreading the gospel through that land. By the blessing of God upon his efforts, paganism was dealt a death blow and Christianity became the dominant religion. Here are a couple of quotes which give us a sense of the man:
Sucat denouncing sun worship:
“For that sun that we behold at God’s command, rises daily for us— but it shall never reign, nor shall its splendor continue, but all even that worship it, miserable beings, shall wretchedly come to punishment. But we who believe in and adore the true sun, Jesus Christ, who will never perish, neither shall he ‘who does His will’— but shall continue forever, — as Christ continues forever, who reigns with God the Father Almighty, and with the Holy Spirit, before the ages, and now, and through all the ages of ages.”
His evangelistic confidence:
“For I am greatly a debtor to the God who has bestowed on me such grace that many people through me should be born again to God, and that everywhere clergy should be ordained for a people newly coming to the faith, whom the Lord took from the ends of the earth, as He had promised of old by His prophets: ‘To Thee the Gentiles will come and say, As our father made false idols, and there is no profit in them.’ And again: ‘I have set Thee to be the light of the Gentiles, that Thou mayest be for salvation unto the utmost part of the earth.’ And there I am willing to await the promise of Him who never fails, as He promises in the Gospel: ‘They shall come from the east and the west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob;’ as we believe that believers shall come from all the world. . . . Therefore it is very necessary to spread out our nets, so that a copious multitude and crowd may be taken for God.”
Sucat, we salute you.