Middle School Formation
Happy St. Patrick’s Day! St. Patrick was a 5th century Christian missionary and bishop in Ireland. He is known as the “Apostle of Ireland”, and he is also the primary patron saint of Ireland. Patrick was born in Roman Britain. When Patrick was around 14 (or so) he was captured by Irish pirates and taken to Ireland as a slave to herd and tend sheep. At the time, Ireland was a land of people who didn’t believe in God. Patrick turned to God in his time of need. Patrick’s captivity lasted until he was around 20, when he escaped. He returned home and was reunited with his family. He studied to become a priest. He was sent back to Ireland to deliver the gospel. There are several ideas about what happened next.
Many believe he preached the gospel and converted many people, eventually thousands, into Christianity. He built churches across the country. He often used shamrocks to explain the Holy Trinity. He preached and converted many in Ireland for 40 years. He worked many miracles and wrote about of his love for God. After years of living in poverty, traveling and enduring much suffering, he died on March 17, 461.
St. Patrick’s poem of faith and trust in God: “Christ be within me, Christ behind me, Christ before me, Christ to win me, Christ to comfort and restore me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ in quiet, Christ in danger, Christ in hearts of all that love me, Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.
What does all of this mean to a middle schooler? The fact that St. Patrick was around the same age as a middle schooler when he was captured, could be a point of interest. The holiday can be given a more meaningful, Christian background as opposed to only celebrating it’s secular fun. Also, St. Patrick’s poem/prayer of faith and trust, might be one that can be read, memorized, and made to be personal for middle schoolers. Why not buy a box of Lucky Charms cereal today, open it up, and talk about who St. Patrick was, and why we remember him on March 17. If your middle schooler is anything like our middle schoolers, sugar cereal will be such an attention grabber, they just may be willing to listen and talk about St. Patrick.
MSP Service Day 2018
MSP 2018 – 2019