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House Points

Well done St. Patrick's! I fantastic afternoon enjoyed by all the children in the team. Lots of popcorn, sweets, juice and of course a film. Keep up the good work.

Each week the winning team will receive a trophy on our display. Take a peek at our House Point page each week to see which team gained the most points...

 

Date

Winning Team

1st December

St Paul

8th December

St Peter

15th December

St Francis

21st December

St Francis

12th January

St Peter

19th January

St Patrick

26th January

St Patrick

2nd February

St Patrick

9th February

St Peter

15th February St Patrick
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Who are our Saints?

 

Saint Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland. He was a Christian missionary credited with converting Ireland to Christianity in the AD 400s. So many legends surround his life that the truth is not easily found.

St Patri
ck was not actually Irish. His exact birthplace and date is not known. However, it is believed he was born around 375AD in Scotland. His parents, Calpurnius and Conchessa, were Romans living in Britain in charge of the colonies. His real name is believed to be Maewyn Succat and he took on the name Patrick upon becoming a priest. As a teen he was kidnapped by pirates and sold into slavery in Ireland to herd and tend sheep on Slemish Mountain, Co Antrim. During his six-year captivity, he became fluent in the Irish language, he turned to God in prayer. He escaped after having a dream sent from God in which he was told to leave Ireland by going to the coast where he would find a ship waiting to sail to Britain. He is believed to have met up with his parents in Wales before travelling to France where he became a priest and later a bishop. Patrick was sent another dream in which the people of Ireland were calling out to him to come and walk among them once more. He was set the task of teaching Christianity to the Irish. He travelled throughout Ireland, preaching the Gospel and converting many. He and his disciples preached and converted thousands and began building churches all over the country. Patrick preached and converted all over Ireland for 40 years. The date cited for when Ireland was converted to Christianity is 432.

 

There is much debate over when and where he died. It is believed he died on 17 March, 460 at Saul, Downpatrick. That is why Saint Patrick's Day is celebrated on March 17th. Some people suggest he was also born on 17 March.
After his death the clans of Ireland began to bicker over who should receive the honour of having his final resting-place on their land. To avoid this sacrilegious end to his life his friends secreted away his body to bury in a secret grave. Many believe this to be in Downpatrick, County Down, where there is a permanent memorial.

 

It is claimed that St Patrick used a shamrock to explain the Trinity but this is not true. The shamrock was traditionally worn in Ireland as a symbol of the cross.

St Patrick is believed to have driven the snakes out of the country, however, this is also untrue.  Ireland never had snakes - but the snake metaphor was probably used later to represent paganism. 

 

Saint Francis was born around 1181 in Assisi, in Italy. As a young man he loved parties and good times. He was handsome and rich, so he bought himself the finest clothes and spent money freely. Francis had no wish to study or to learn his father's business, as he was having too much fun. One day he refused to give alms to a poor beggar but as the man was leaving, he felt sorry for what he had done and ran after him with some money.

After he fell ill twice, Francis realised that he was wasting precious time. He realised that he should be serving Jesus and began praying more and making sacrifices to grow strong in spirit. While riding his horse one day he saw a leper and quickly turned his horse to ride away. Then he thought to himself, if Jesus saw a leper he would not turn the other way, so he kissed the horrible-looking leper, and gave him money.

Often he gave his clothes and money to the poor. He served the sick in hospitals. Still he felt he must do more. He fasted and began to go around in rags to humble himself. It is not hard to imagine how his rich friends must have looked at him now! His father was so angry that he beat him and locked him up at home. Francis bore all this suffering for love of Jesus.

When his father took everything from him in disgust, Francis put all his trust in his Father in heaven. He said that he was married to "Lady Poverty" and he began to live as a beggar. He had no shelter. His food was what kind people gave him. Everywhere he went, he begged people to stop sinning and return to God. Many men began to see how close to God this poor man really was, and they became his followers. Francis followed the example of Jesus closely by living a life of simplicity and teaching the Gospel message with great joy.

That is how the great Franciscan order of priests and brothers began. They helped the poor and sick and preached everywhere. Even after the order had spread all over Italy, Francis insisted that they should not own anything. He wanted his priests to love poverty as he did. St. Francis had the power of working miracles. He loved all creatures and the birds and animals happily obeyed his commands! As a reward for his great love, Jesus gave him his own wounds. Two in his hands, two in his feet and one in his side but the humble Francis tried to hide them from people.

Toward the end of his life, he became very sick. He was told he would live only a few more weeks and he exclaimed, "Welcome, Sister Death!" He asked to be laid on the ground and covered with an old habit. He advised his brothers to love God, to love being poor, and to obey the Gospel. "I have done my part," he said. "May Jesus teach you to do yours." Francis died on October 3, 1226.

 

 

Saint Peter, the first pope, was a fisherman from Galilee. Jesus invited Peter to follow him, saying: "I will make you a fisher of men." Peter was a simple, hard-working man. He was generous, honest and loved Jesus very much.

 

This great apostle's name was Simon, but Jesus changed it to Peter, which means "rock." "You are Peter," Jesus said, "and on this rock I will build my Church." Peter was the chief or prince of the apostles.

 

When the Roman soldiers arrested Jesus, Peter was afraid. In his fright he committed the sin of denying that he knew Jesus, three times. Peter was terrified that they would kill him too, but before Jesus died, Peter repented totally. He wept over his denials for the rest of his life and Jesus lovingly forgave Peter.

After the resurrection Jesus asked Peter three times: "Do you love me?" "Lord," Peter answered, "you know all things. You know that I love you." Jesus truly did know! Peter was so right. Jesus said kindly: "Feed my lambs. Feed my sheep." He was telling Peter to take care of his Church because he would be ascending into heaven. Jesus left Peter as the leader and head of His Church.

Peter later went to Rome to live. Rome was the centre of the whole Roman Empire. Peter converted many nonbelievers there. When the fierce torture of Christians began, they begged Peter to leave Rome and save himself. Peter started out and on the road and Jesus appeared to him. Peter asked him, "Lord, where are you going?" Jesus answered, "I am coming to be crucified a second time."

Then St. Peter turned around and went back. He understood that this vision meant that he was meant to suffer and die for Jesus. Soon, he was taken prisoner and condemned to death. Because he was not a Roman citizen, he, like Jesus, could be crucified. This time he did not deny the Lord. This time he was ready to die for Jesus. Peter asked to be crucified with his head downward since he was not worthy to suffer as Jesus had. The Roman soldiers did not find this unusual because slaves were crucified upside down.

St. Peter was martyred on Vatican Hill. It was around the year 67. Emperor Constantine built a large church over that sacred location in the fourth century.

Saint Paul was born at Tarsus in Cilicia (Turkey) and lived around the time of Jesus but never met Him. Paul was first called Saul. As a young man, he was a very bright student of the Hebrew religion. He was a Pharisee and a tent-maker by trade. He hated the Christians. When he grew older he tortured and harassed the followers of Jesus. He even helped at the stoning of St. Stephen the martyr. In the Bible's Acts of the Apostles, we read about Saul's amazing conversion (chapters 9, 22, 26):Saint Paul was born at Tarsus in Cilicia (Turkey) and lived around the time of Jesus but never met Him. Paul was first called Saul. As a young man, he was a very bright student of the Hebrew religion. He was a Pharisee and a tent-maker by trade. He hated the Christians. When he grew older he tortured and harassed the followers of Jesus. He even helped at the stoning of St. Stephen the martyr.

One day, Paul was on his way to the city of Damascus to hunt down more Christians. Suddenly, a great light shone all around him and he was knocked to the ground. He was struck blind; and he heard a voice say, "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?" Saul answered, "Who are you, Sir?" And the voice said, "I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting." Saul was shocked and confused. After a few seconds, he asked, "What do you want me to do?" Jesus told him to continue on to Damascus and there he would be told what to do.

At that moment, through the power of God, Saul received the gift to believe in Jesus. Weak and trembling, he reached out for help and his companions led him into Damascus. The light had blinded him temporarily. Now that he was blind he could really "see" the truth. And Jesus had come personally to meet him, to invite him to conversion. Saul became a great lover of Jesus. He was baptised and changed his name to Paul to show that he was a changed person. Now he thought only of helping everyone know and love Jesus, the Saviour.

We know Saul by his Roman name of Paul. He is called "the apostle." He travelled all over the world, preaching the Good News and led so many people to Jesus. He worked and suffered.

His enemies tried to kill him several times but nothing could stop him. When he was old and tired, he was once again put in prison and sentenced to die. Still St. Paul was happy to suffer and even die for Christ.

This great apostle wrote wonderful letters to the Christians. They are in the Bible. These letters, called epistles, are read often during the Liturgy of the Word at Mass.

 


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