The Faith of Two Patricks: Family Reflection Video
“In a time of favor I answered you, on the day of salvation I helped you. I have kept you and given you as a covenant for your people.” (Isaiah 49:8). Today’s readings proclaim that Christ, the Word of the Father, is always guiding the personal life of each of us - and all of human history! The life of Saint Patrick is truly a testimony of that.
As the great apostle to Ireland, the Irish, as well as many of Irish ancestry like myself, have for 1600 years considered Saint Patrick their Father in Faith. Moreover, through his legacy, the light of Christ and Christian civilization emanated from Ireland to guide Europe through the Dark Ages.
We know of his life from a text, his Confessions, that he himself wrote. He was born into a wealthy Christian family in western England in about 380, when the Roman Empire was eroding faster and faster. While a teenager he was kidnapped by brutal Irish slave traders, taken to Ireland, sold, and wound up probably in northwestern Ireland, in County Mayo, near where Father Peyton was born. No Irish slave had ever made it back to England and to freedom.
Patrick found himself very much alone, as a shepherd boy in the cold and rainy hills. Yet the shepherd boy came to discover Christ was very much with him and, in his solitude, he began a life of deep prayer. After six years of slavery, the Holy Spirit told him in a dream to journey by foot 200 miles clandestinely at night to the southeast of Ireland where he would find a boat to take him home. Miraculously he succeeded in reaching the home of his parents in England.
Patrick could have then stayed home as his parents hoped but, again he had a dream: the Irish came to him pleading, “We are asking you, holy boy, to come and continue to walk among us.” So he left his family for France, where as a priest in a monastery he prepared for some years and then returned to Ireland for his mission. He was filled with the Holy Spirit and miraculous power. Pagan Ireland entirely turned to Christ and was baptized before he died.
Irish faith sees Christ everywhere, especially in nature and in the family!
Another Patrick 1500 years later, was deeply imbued with that faith as his family prayed the Rosary each evening. As a spiritual Son of Saint Patrick, Venerable Patrick Peyton’s missionary life is another testimony of God guiding our personal lives and our world. We so much need the hope and power to be found through Family Prayer! Father Pat’s message was born of Saint Patrick’s faith lived around the hearth of the home of the Peyton family. We need to keep proclaiming this faith to the whole world.
- Father Jim's inspirational homily was recorded live this morning during Mass at the Father Peyton Center. Please view the video on our Facebook page. (You don't need a Facebook account to view.)
To view Rosary prayer and Mass streaming live, please visit our Facebook page at 11:30 am EST, Monday – Friday. Please invite your loved ones to join us too! (You don't need a Facebook account to view.)
About Father Jim Phalan, C.S.C.
Father James Phalan, C.S.C., is a Catholic priest, member of the Congregation of Holy Cross and the National Director of Family Rosary. He served as a missionary for many years travelling the globe to help people come to Jesus through Mary as part of the Family Rosary team. Now he is happy to be serving back at home in the USA!