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Die irische Gemeinde feierte im Schottenstift St. Patrick's Day

In the 5 century Saint Patrick laid the basis for the Christian culture of Ireland. He intended to free people from pagan fears of demons and ghosts by showing them the beauty of the gospel. He appeared to be very courageous, as he came to Ireland without troops and arms. According to his vita, the Irish were impressed by his peaceful way of acting and speaking, which was however very convincing.

Probably he also had personal doubts about his capabilities like Jeremiah: “Truly I do not know how to speak, for I am yet too young.” What gave Jeremiah the inner strength to speak to his people even when they seriously objected to his teaching? “The Lord came to me saying, ‘Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.’” (Jer 1) Vocation is based on God’s love to us. Anybody, who feels God’s love, will accept his personal vocation by God. “Do not be afraid of them”, God said to Jeremiah and to any of his disciples, also to Patrick.

God encourages not only in words, but also in His way to forgive. God’s disciples feel His mercy in their own life, as they feel their own incapability. During lent we prepare for Easter by confessing our sins. Jesus Christ calls us to leave the bad ways and follow Him, as he spoke to the woman in today’s gospel: “Go your way, and from now on do not sin again.” (John 8) The first genuine Irish saint had a similar experience with the mercy of God. He felt his deep sins and turned to the path of a Christian life. Saint Colum Cille (Saint Columba) was born exactly 1500 years ago, in 521 AD. He was a successful leader, but realized, that his success had been due to the sacrifice of many people’s lives. With 12 friends he founded a monastery on the island of Iona.

By returning to God Colum Cille accepted his own vocation of leading a Christian life and became “a light for the Gentiles” (Apg 13,47). Saint Patrick’s and Saint Colum Cille’s love to God and to their neighbour was an example for the Irish monks who came to found our monastery in the 12th century. We are glad that the Ambassador of  Ireland with Christian Irish people is celebrating St. Patrick’s Day here with us. May Saint Patrick and Saint Colum Cille pray to God for the Irish people and all Christians. Amen.

Predigt: P. Sebastian Hacker OSB, 17.3.2021

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