Public Papers - 1990
Message on the Observance of St. Patrick's Day, 1990
I am delighted to extend warm greetings to all those celebrating St. Patrick's Day.
As history tells us, St. Patrick led a life filled with exciting adventures and tremendous challenges. Born the son of a British city leader, he was captured by pirates as a youth and sold into slavery. After gaining his freedom, Patrick returned home, where he eventually decided to dedicate his life to God as a cleric. Soon he was to discover that God was calling him to take part in yet another extraordinary adventure -- bringing the Christian faith to the people of Ireland. He spent the remaining years of his life serving God and his fellowman with tireless devotion. In so doing, he helped change forever the course of Irish history. St. Patrick's faith, courage, and compassionate spirit have lived on through the centuries, inspiring generations of men and women to follow his example of voluntary service and fervent prayer.
On St. Patrick's Day, Irish-Americans -- indeed Americans of every ethnic background -- happily join with the people of Ireland in celebrating the life of this remarkable man. This occasion also provides us with a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the many contributions the sons and daughters of Ireland have made to our nation. Many of those early pioneers who braved the stormy Atlantic to seek a new life in America were of Irish descent. They, like their spiritual ancestor, Patrick, helped to build a strong and proud nation through faith and hard work. On this day we also celebrate the special friendship the United States shares with Ireland -- one we look forward to enriching and strengthening in the months and years to come.
Barbara joins me in sending our best wishes to all for a joyous and memorable St. Patrick's Day. May God bless you.