St Patrick is the Patron Saint of Ireland and one of the patrons of this movement. St Patrick’s origins lay in north-western Britain. When not yet sixteen, Patrick was captured and was forced to herd sheep. The experience changed his personality: in adversity he learned to cast himself on God’s mercy and to rely on the power of prayer. He felt the spirit at work within him.
St Patrick describes his own transformation in his Confessio: “It was there that the Lord opened up my awareness of my lack of faith. I recognised my failings. So I turned with all my heart to the Lord my God, and he looked down on my lowliness and had mercy on my youthful ignorance.” (Confessio, 2) St Patrick escaped from slavery and found his way back to his family. He was ordained a priest and later felt drawn to go back to Ireland. He was consecrated a bishop and spend the rest of his life evangelising Ireland. In simple but compelling terms, he preached the Trinitarian doctrine of God’s love and providence, redemption through Christ, and the dwelling of the Spirit in people’s hearts. He secured the title as “Apostle to the Irish People.” (Paul Burns, Butler’s Lives of the Saints, 122-3.)
St Patrick filled the common customs of his day with Christian meaning. Following his example, we will use the Operation Transformation concept that is very much in the consciousness of people today to promote the joy of the gospel. May St Patrick intercede for Ireland in a particular way so that many hearts will be transformed as his was. May he help us to become more aware of the Spirit of God in our lives, and at work, in and through us all.