March – the Month of St. Patrick & St. Joseph
Did you know that St. Patrick, the patron of Ireland, was actually of Welsh descent and not Irish? St. Patrick was the son of a wealthy nobleman, in Wales of Great Britain. After being kidnapped by Irish pirates when he was about 16 years old, Patrick lived six years as a slave, herding sheep in some of the poorest conditions of Ireland
It was during this time that the Holy Spirit began His great work in Patrick’s proud and hardened heart. Resentful of his state, Patrick longed to escape back to his home in Great Britain. He entered a time of prayer and fasting, through which God softened Patrick's heart.
During this time a Divine love for the rough and pagan Irish people took root in his heart. Patrick began to identify with them as sheep without a shepherd, being a slave shepherd himself. After his escape and arrival home, God called Patrick to the priesthood, preparing him to return to Ireland and gather His lost sheep. Because the pagan druid practices of witchcraft were so entrenched in Irish life, God graced Patrick with gifts of miracles and healings in order to combat the evil practices of the day.
The famous Breastplate Prayer was penned by St. Patrick as a prayer of armor for the protection of his soul and body from the evil he faced daily.
Saint Patrick's feast day is March 17th.
Another saint shares the month of March with St. Patrick – St. Joseph, the spouseof Our Lady. St. Joseph is the patron of fathers and families, house sellers, carpenters and craftsmen, workers, the Universal Church, and is the patron of a happy death. He is described in Scripture as a “righteous man” (Matthew 1:8), fearing God, with a heart willing to accept God’s will. God chose Joseph to be the spouse of Our Lady by causing his almond branch to bloom overnight in the Jewish temple, unlike the branches brought by others who had desired Our Lady’s hand. Above all men, God prepared and chose Joseph to protect His most valuable Treasure – the Ark of the New Covenant, the Mother of God. In sweet humility he rested in his trust of Our Almighty God all through his life.
Saint Joseph's feast day is March 19.