A farmer named Muldoon lived alone in the Irish countryside except for a pet dog he had for a long time.
The dog finally died and Muldoon went to the parish priest, saying “Father, the dog is dead. Could you possibly be saying a Mass for the poor creature?”
Father Patrick told the farmer “No, we can’t have services for an animal in the church, but I’ll tell you what, there’s a new denomination down the road apiece, and no telling what they believe in, but maybe they’ll do something for the animal.”
Muldoon said “I’ll go right now. By the way, do you think $50,000 is enough to donate for the service?”
Father Patrick replied “Why didn’t you tell me the dog was Catholic.”
St. Patrick – Although many enjoy parades and drinking on St. Pats Day, very few know his real story. My own family name came from St. Fillan, an Irish priest who went from Ireland in the 7th Century to bring Christianity to Scotland. A year ago I took my wife and daughters to Strathfillan in Scotland to investigate some of the family roots. I found this historical sign out in country field and had my wife snap a photo. It looks like some of those early Irish were a lot more spiritual than people give them credit for.
The text read – Fillan was a traveller on foot…He came to the area to spread the teachings of a Christian way of life to the Scots and to the Picts…The ruin in front of you is the remains of a priory built in recognition of Fillan’s teachings, which following his death lead him to be made a saint. St. Fillan cared for the area and it’s people. We should do the same.
I took excerpts from http://www.biography.com/people/st-patrick to give a quick overview of St. Patrick’s life.
St. Patrick, apostle of Ireland, was born in England around 385AD. Surprisingly, St. Patrick himself was not raised with a strong emphasis on religion. Education was not particularly stressed during his childhood either. When St. Patrick was 16 years old, he was captured by Irish pirates. They brought him to Ireland where he was sold into slavery in Dalriada. There, his job was to tend sheep. Saint Patrick’s master, Milchu, was a high priest of Druidism, a Pagan sect that ruled religious influence over Ireland at the time.
St. Patrick came to view his enslavement as God’s test of his faith. During his six years of captivity, he became deeply devoted to Christianity through constant prayer. In a vision, he saw the children of Pagan Ireland reaching out their hands to him. With this, he grew increasingly determined to free the Irish from Druidism by converting them to Christianity.
The idea of escaping enslavement came to St. Patrick in a dream in 408AD. In the dream, a voice promised him he would find his way home to England. Eager to see the dream materialize, St. Patrick convinced some sailors to let him board their ship. After three days of sailing, he and the crew abandoned the ship in France and wandered, lost, for 28 days—covering 200 miles of territory in the process. At last, St. Patrick was reunited with his family in England.
Now a free man, St. Patrick went to Auxerre, France where he studied and entered the priesthood under the guidance of the missionary St. Germain. As time passed, St. Patrick never lost sight of his vision: he was determined to convert Ireland to Christianity. C. 431, Pope St. Celestine I consecrated St. Patrick Bishop of the Irish, and sent him to Ireland to spread “The Good News,” or Christian Gospel, to the Pagans there.
Upon his arrival in Ireland, St. Patrick was initially met with hostile resistance. But St. Patrick quickly managed to spread Christian teachings far and wide. Through preaching, writing and performing countless baptisms, he convinced Pagan Druids that they were worshiping idols under a belief system that kept them enslaved. By accepting Christianity, he told them, they would be elevated to “the people of the Lord and the sons of God.” Throughout his missionary work, St. Patrick continued to promote the conversion of Ireland to Christianity by electing Church officials, creating councils, founding monasteries and organizing Ireland into dioceses. St. Patrick died around 461AD in Saul, Ireland. He is said to have been buried in Ulster, County Down, Ireland.
Best quote – “If I have any worth, it is to live my life for God so as to teach these peoples, even though some of them still look down on me.”