Today’s Saint

Daily Journey with the Saints


March 17 | Bravery

Saint Patrick

A.D. 387–461



Everything significant in life requires courage.

Whether it is playing football, or coaching football; crossing the room to ask someone out on a date, or rekindling a love that has grown cold; whether it's your first day at college, or your first day back at college after twenty years; starting a new business, battling a potentially fatal disease, getting married, struggling to overcome an addiction, or coming humbly before your God in prayer: life takes courage.

Saint Patrick, celebrated around the world on March 17 by Catholics and non-Catholics alike, is usually seen today as a jolly figure who brought Christianity to Ireland with his trusty shamrock. But we rarely hear the story of Saint Patrick the Brave—a man who courageously followed God’s mission for his life, against all odds.

Born in Britain around 386 AD, Patrick's early life was marked by a terrifying event: at 16, he was kidnapped and enslaved by Irish raiders. It would have been easy for Patrick to abandon his faith during his six years of enslavement, but instead he embraced his work as a shepherd and grew closer to Jesus, the Good Shepherd. Despite being owned by other human beings, he freely and bravely lived the Christian life.

In what he later described as a divinely inspired vision, Patrick found the courage to escape his captors. Despite the risks, he journeyed across Ireland until he miraculously found a passage back to Britain and reunited with his family.

After returning to Britain, Patrick experienced another vision, compelling him to return to Ireland, not as a slave, but as a missionary. The natural thing would’ve been to shut down any notion of returning to the land of his former enslavement. But Patrick did not live by his natural inclinations. He lived by the supernatural grace of courage that God gave him.

Patrick returned to Ireland, determined to spread Christianity in a land ruled by pagan kings and Druids who were hostile to his message. Today he is the patron saint of Ireland, and generations of Christians owe their faith to his bravery.

So this St. Patrick’s Day, let’s remember who and what we are celebrating: Saint Patrick the Brave, who unwaveringly lived his mission for God. How will you honor that legacy with your own courage today?

WHAT ARE SOME OF MY FEARS THAT COME FROM BEING HURT IN THE PAST? WHAT NEXT STEP IS GOD INVITING ME TO TAKE WITH BRAVERY AND TRUST?

I will bravely follow the mission God is giving me.


This reflection is brought to you from book title.


Patron Saint of: Ireland, Engineers, and Against Snakes and Sins

Symbols: Shamrock

Feast Day: March 17

Feast Day Shared By: Saint John Sarcander

Image of mountain and man reflecting in the water below.

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