St. Patrick

Lk 6: 36-38

Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

“Do not judge, and you will not be judged; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap; for the measure you give will be the measure you get back.”

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved

Courage and Mercy

Parades and parties.  Corned beef and green beer. Even a river-turned-green in Chicago. In the midst of our revelry, let us not forget the remarkable man of faith whose life we celebrate today. Kidnapped from his home in Britain at age 16, and enslaved in Ireland for 6 years before slipping back to his native land, Patrick experienced God in profound ways, even during the most harrowing of times, and felt the call to priesthood. With the prophet Daniel, no doubt Patrick could acclaim, “Lord, great and awesome God, you who keep your merciful covenant toward those who love you and observe your commandments!”

Missioned back to Ireland, and often in the midst of fierce hostility, Patrick established the faith, fanned its flames across the island and, as Luke’s gospel bids us today, served as an apostle of mercy and forgiveness. In the bold, courageous spirit of St. Patrick, may we, too, witness to the powerful presence of Jesus with tender mercy and gentle forgiveness.

—Fr. David O’Mastrangelo, S.J. is superior of the Taylor St. Jesuit community, Chicago, and director of Mission and Identity at Christ the King Jesuit High School, Chicago.


Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart,
O Sovereign of heaven, my treasure Thou art.
High king of angels, my heaven’s bright sun,
Grant me its joys after victory is won.
Be Thou my breastplate,
my sword for the fight;
be Thou my whole armour,
be Thou my true might.
Great heart of my heart,
whatever befall, be always my vision,
O ruler of all.

—8th Century Irish