Since some people I know got started celebrating St. Patrick’s Day this weekend, I figured I’d go ahead and share the Irish love.
Have you ever looked up the history of St. Patrick? Actually learned how he got the whole saint-thing going? Well, I honestly admit that I never did. Sure, I might have learned something back in elementary school, but I don’t retain that kind of information very well…it’s why I have to reread the Harry Potter books each time a movie comes out.
This past Sunday, I got a little history lesson. Apparently Patrick, the son of a deacon and grandson of a priest, might not have been so thrilled with the God path laid before him. I imagine his teenage self would be thrilled with the pub-crawls we do for celebrating on March 17th. And did I mention he wasn’t even Irish?
When he was 16 he was captured and brought to Ireland, a slave who tended fields for years.
Since this was about 400 B.C., Twitter hadn’t exactly come on the scene. There was no Facebook, no iPhone, and no Foursquare. Instead, there were sheep. And visions in dreams.
Not exactly many means for helping a 16 year old escape capture.
We’ve read a lot about how technology saves lives now. When you see a movie about a bank robbery, there’s always the collections of cell phones (it’s as if they don’t even worry about the button behind the counter anymore). It’s still astonishing how a First Aid app on an iPhone helped keep survivor alive after the Haiti earthquake. We’ve even seen where Facebook has provided an alibi for a young man after being accused of participating in a robbery.
So, what if Patrick had some kind of smartphone to text his dad, “Dad, some dudes shoved me in the bottom of a boat. I’ll be late for dinner.” Or perhaps tweeted: Hey all, can the Navy stop the pirates in the green boat? I’ve been kidnapped…
That might be a bit casual, but you never know what people are going to say when they’re stressed.
If Patrick hadn’t spent years as a slave, he never would have escaped back to Britain. He wouldn’t have heard the voices urging him back to Ireland, and he wouldn’t have been a major missionary for Christianity. There would be no sainthood, and no stories of him driving snakes out of Ireland.
March 17th would be a normal day.
How many future holidays, saints, heroes might we not ever have because of technology? Do we have new definitions of how people become revered?