The Missionary Spirit of Saint Patrick: 6 Quotes

Long before he became an icon for a commercialized holiday, Saint Patrick stood a symbol of missionary zeal.

Long before Saint Patrick was associated with leprechauns or cheap, green beer, his legacy as a missionary to the Druids in Ireland stood as a symbol of Great Commission faithfulness.

Consider these six stirring quotations from the writings of Saint Patrick that convey his devotion to Christ and his mission.

1. On God’s Mercy

“I know for certain, that before I was humbled I was like a stone lying in deep mire, and he that is mighty came and in his mercy raised me up and, indeed, lifted me high up and placed me on top of the wall. And from there I ought to shout out in gratitude to the Lord for his great favors in this world and for ever, that the mind of man cannot measure.”

2. On Enduring Persecution

“I came to the people of Ireland to preach the gospel, and to suffer insult from the unbelievers, bearing the reproach of my going abroad and many persecutions even unto bonds, and to give my free birth for the benefit of others.”

3. On Faithfulness in Witness

“I pray to God to give me perseverance and to deign that I be a faithful witness to him to the end of my life for my God.”

4. On Expecting Suffering

“For daily I expect to be murdered or betrayed or reduced to slavery if the occasion arises. But I fear nothing, because of the promises of Heaven; for I have cast myself into the hands of Almighty God, who reigns everywhere. As the prophet says: ‘Cast your burden on the Lord and he will sustain you.’”

5. On God’s Providence

“[God] watched over me before I knew him, and before I learned sense or even distinguished between good and evil, and he protected me, and consoled me as a father would his son.”

6. On Christ’s Presence

“Christ with me,
Christ before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ in me,
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ on my right,
Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down,
Christ when I sit down,
Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.”

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published March 16, 2019.