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From Ireland to Africa

Matthew Harrison

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

clovers.jpgIt's funny the things you remember as a kid.
In elementary school whenever St. Patrick's Day would roll around we would inevitably talk about the great Apostle of Ireland's use of three leaf clovers to educate people on the Holy Trinity -- three persons in one God!
Then of course the four leaf clover would come up.
I spent a childhood trying to find one of those.
(Usually all I ended up with was poison ivy! That's okay though, I don't believe in luck anyway -- but that's a whole other blog!)
Anyway, I'm not planning on consuming any emerald-dyed products (does anyone remember Shamrock Shakes??), however I will be digging up the wonderful prayer St. Patrick's Breastplate. This year, I will offer it for Pope Benedict XVI as he begins his first Apostolic voyage to Africa today.
The March 17th-March 23rd trip was the focus of his Sunday Angelus address. During it, the Holy Father said:
With this visit I intend to embrace the whole African continent: its thousands of differences and profound religious soul; its ancient cultures and its toilsome road to development and reconciliation; its grave problems, its painful wounds and its enormous possibilities and hopes. I intend to confirm the African Catholics in faith, to encourage the Christians in their ecumenical commitment, and bring to all the announcement of peace that the Lord has entrusted to his Church.
Over the next week let us pray that the Holy Father's trip is a successful and fruitful journey to Africa. That Christ will be with him, within him, before and beside him, that the light of Christ will shine on beautiful Africa!
St. Patrick, pray for us!

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