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Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.


And we are, too.

Patrick (6)

My family rejoiced at my return,
and when my tribulations they had learned,
they begged me, as a son, to stay with them
and never leave our happy home again.
And so, no doubt, I would have been content
to do, but God was pleased I should be spent
in other ways; for while I tarried there
amid my leisure, He worked to prepare
me for a larger task. There came to me
one night a vision. From across the sea
a man appeared; Victoricus was his name.
He had in his possession as he came
so many letters, and he gave me one
of them. The heading on it left me numb:
“The Voice of the Irish,” it proclaimed. As I
began to read the letter, deep in my
imagination in that moment I
could hear the voices of the people by
the wood of Foclut, which is near the sea
in western Ireland, and it seemed to me
that they were crying out, as with one voice,
“O holy servant boy, we would rejoice
for you to come and walk among us.”

 - Patrick, Confession

Now the Lord spoke to Paul in the night by a vision, “Do not be afraid, but speak, and do not keep silent; for I am with you, and no one will attack you to hurt you; for I have many people in this city.” And he continued there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.

 - Acts 18.9-11

… walk worthy of God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory.

 - 1 Thessalonians 2.12

When Patrick returned to his home in Britain, his family was so overjoyed that they made him swear he would never leave them again. He was all too ready to agree to their request.

But his vow would be a foolish one, as God made clear. After some time at home, Patrick received the vision reported in the excerpt for today. In a dream, Patrick saw a man he knew, named Victoricus, coming to visit him, bearing a handful of letters. The first one he read said, “The voice of the Irish.” At the same time, he thought he could hear familiar voices, from people he had known in the west of Ireland in the wood of Foclut, where he had been a slave. It seemed to him that they were calling him to come and walk among them.

This vision is interesting for several reasons. First, the name Victoricus is Latin and not Irish. We know that Christianity arrived in Ireland before Patrick. We also know that some of those working for the faith in Ireland had notable success. Ailbe of Emly, for example, is reported to have preached the Gospel faithfully and made many converts. It could be that Victoricus was a clergyman, perhaps one Patrick had known in the wood of Foclut.

Next is the fact that Victoricus was bearing letters from the Irish. This is interesting because literacy was not widespread in Ireland, and being able to read and write would not have been a skill that rural, rustic folk would have acquired. The letters therefore would have been as miraculous as the vision itself.

Finally, the voices of the people in the wood of Foclut—voices Patrick seemed to recognize—would have left no doubt as to the purpose of the vision. Patrick was being called, by the Church and the Irish people, to come as a “holy servant boy” and walk among them, that is, to live and work in their midst.

In our terms we would say that Patrick had a strong outward call to return to Ireland. But it would need inward confirmation by the voice of the Lord. That would come shortly. On “another night”, Patrick reported a second vision. This time the One speaking to him was the Spirit of the Lord. Patrick experienced the Spirit praying within him, interceding for him to take up the call of Victoricus and the Irish.

Consequently, Patrick woke with a start:

So I awoke, and I recalled the word
of the apostle, where He said, “We do
not know how we should make our prayers unto
the Lord; so in our weakness He provides
His Spirit, Who instructs us, and Who guides
and pleads for us in groanings without words.”
He also says, “Our Advocate, the Lord
on our behalf will intercede.” I knew   
that moment what He wanted me to do.

From that moment, neither Patrick nor Ireland would ever be the same.

God has called us to His Kingdom and glory. We must be as ready as Patrick to forsake everything and leave all to follow wherever that divine calling leads.

For Reflection
1. What does it mean to you that God Himself has called you to His Kingdom and glory?

2. In what roles do you seek to pursue that calling?

Psalm 25.1, 2, 4, 5 (Festal Song, Rise Up, O Men of God)
I lift my soul to You; O LORD, in You I trust.
Let me not come to shame, nor let my foes o’er me exult.

Make me to know Your ways, teach me Your paths, O LORD!
My Savior, all day long I wait and seek You in Your Word.

Lead me today, Lord Jesus, more clearly and deeply into Your Kingdom and glory, and I will…

T. M. Moore

Patrick’s Legacy
You can read more about the impact of Patrick’s ministry in our book, The Legacy of Patrick. Here you’ll learn how Patrick’s work has affected generations of Christians down to our own day. Order your copy by clicking here.

Support for Crosfigell comes from our faithful and generous God, who moves our readers to share financially in our work. If this article was helpful, please give Him thanks and praise.

And please prayerfully consider supporting The Fellowship of Ailbe with your prayers and gifts. You can contribute online, via PayPal or Anedot, or by sending a gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 103 Reynolds Lane, West Grove, PA 19390.

All Psalms for singing from
The Ailbe Psalter. Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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