I've been thinking about St. Patrick all day, as I imagine many of you have as well. Maybe it's the Guinness, maybe it's figuring out what you have in your closet that's green. Maybe it's just the fun of everyone being Irish for a day that makes this such a popular holiday. But like Valentine's Day, the saint behind the celebration has gotten lost.
The thing about Patrick, of course, is that on the one hand he's been lost to us for a long time. He lived in the 5th century, and by the 7th century people were trying to tell his story, but for their own purposes, and with precious little to go on. And on the other hand, we miraculously seem to have two (two!) documents that are genuinely his own testimony to his life, and work, and faith. Absolutely remarkable, really. And, whatever we think was important to know about Patrick -- snakes (there weren't any) or shamrocks (no evidence for that one, either), even the lovely 8th century prayer known as St Patrick's Breastplate -- those aren't the things he thought were important enough to write about.