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Saint John Paul II, while visiting Ireland and speaking to seminarians in 1979, spoke about Saint Patrick and encouraged those in attendance to look to this saint for inspiration in their missionary endeavors.
“As you pursue your vocation…I wish to recall to you one simple but important lesson taken from the life of Saint Patrick; and it is this: In the history of evangelization, the destiny of an entire people…was radically affected for time and eternity because of the fidelity with which Saint Patrick embraced and proclaimed the word of God, and by reason of the fidelity with which Saint Patrick pursued his call to the end…God counts on you that he makes his plans, in a way, depend on your free collaboration, on the oblation of your lives, and on the generosity with which you follow the inspirations of the Holy Spirit in the depths of your hearts.
The Catholic faith of Ireland today was linked, in God's plan, to the fidelity of Saint Patrick. And tomorrow? Yes, tomorrow some part of God's plan will be linked to your fidelity—to the fervor with which you say yes to God's word in your lives…The supreme expression of fidelity will come with your irrevocable and total self-giving in union with Jesus Christ to his Father. And may our Blessed Mother Mary help you to make this gift acceptable.”
When we look at our own lives, we recognize that we will only be successful in our daily mission by remaining faithful and saying, “Yes” to God each and every day. This is what we do when we say our Morning Offering, pledging that we will give everything to God and follow his inspirations throughout the day.
Let us go forward, following the example of Saint Patrick, to be a missionary in our every day lives.
- Philip Kosloski
Writer and Content Manager
The Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network (USA)