Celebrations across the globe this St Patrick’s Day are a “testament to the tremendous outreach” people from here have had abroad, Archbishop Eamon Martin has said.
Delivering his special St. Patrick’s Day Homily during 11am Mass at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, Armagh this morning, Archbishop Martin issued a special blessing and good wish to the people of Ireland as well as to all Irish people overseas, “especially to Irish missionaries who are following in the footsteps of Saint Patrick in bringing the comfort and the joy of the Gospel of Mercy to faraway places”.
The Derry native told the crowds who had gathered at the Cathedral: “All over the world today people of many creeds, languages and race are celebrating our national saint, Saint Patrick.
“It is a testimony to the tremendous outreach to the rest of the world that Ireland has had over many centuries.
“Everywhere the Irish have gone we have brought warmth and smiles, laughter and music, tales of our beautiful green island home - and devotion to the patron saint Patrick who first brought to them the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
“Ireland’s greatest export down the centuries has been our people and our faith. Almost as soon as the Irish heard the Good News about Jesus, they wanted to give it away.
“ Within years of first hearing the Gospel, Irish missionaries in the sixth and seventh centuries were already braving the wind, the waves and other dangers to rekindle the flame of faith of faith across Europe in hearts that had grown cold or lukewarm.”
Archbishop Martin said there were strong parallels between St Patrick and Pope Francis.
“Like Saint Patrick, our Holy Father has a strong sense of his own unworthiness, and of God’s mercy. Also like Saint Patrick he insists on calling us to be missionary. People of faith should not to be turned in on themselves, Pope Francis says, but they should go out to the peripheries, accompanying the poor and the marginalised, touching lost lives with the fire of God’s love and mercy.
It would be wonderful if the people of Ireland, in imitation of Saint Patrick, and inspired by the great Irish missionary endeavours of past centuries, could rekindle their missionary zeal to become ‘missionaries of mercy’ for today’s world.”