St Patrick, Secondary Patron of Nigeria, Friday, March 17, 2023

Entrance Antiphon: cf. Psalm.95:2–3
Proclaim the salvation of God day by day; tell among the nations his glory.

O God, who chose the Bishop Saint Patrick to preach your glory to the peoples of Ireland, grant, through his merits and intercession, that those who glory in the name of Christian may never cease to proclaim your wondrous deeds to all. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

First reading 1 Peter 4:7b-11
Beloved: Keep sane and sober for your prayers. Above all hold unfailing your love for one another, since love covers a multitude of sins. Practice hospitality ungrudgingly to one another. As each has received a gift, employ it for one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who utters oracles of God; whoever renders service, as one who renders it by the strength which God supplies; in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

Responsorial Psalm 96:1-2a,2b-3, 7-8a, 9-10ac 
(R.3) Tell among all the peoples the wonders of the LORD.

O sing a new song to the LORD; sing to the LORD, all the earth. O sing to the LORD; bless his name. R.

Proclaim his salvation day by day. Tell among the nations his glory, and his wonders among all the peoples. R.

Give the LORD, you families of peoples, give the LORD glory and power; give the LORD the glory of his name. R.

Worship the LORD in holy splendour. O tremble before him, all the earth. Say to the nations, “The LORD is king.” he will judge the peoples in fairness. R.

Gospel Acclamation Mark 1:17
Glory and praise to you, O Christ. Follow me, says the Lord, and I will make you become fishers of men. Glory and praise to you, O Christ.

Gospel Luke 5:1-11
At that time: While the people pressed upon Jesus to hear the word of God, he was standing by the lake of Gennesaret. And he saw two boats by the lake; but the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. Getting into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, he asked him to put out a little from the land. And he sat down and taught the people from the boat. And when he had ceased speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.” And when they had done this, they enclosed a great shoal of fish; and as their nets were breaking, they beckoned to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the catch of fish which they had taken; and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; henceforth you will be catching men.” And when they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed him.

Prayer over the Offerings
Lord, accept this pure sacrifice which, through the labours of Saint Patrick, your grateful people make to the glory of your name. Through Christ our Lord.

Communion Antiphon Lk. 22:29-30
I confer a kingdom on you just as my Father has conferred one on me, that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, says the Lord.

Prayer after Communion
Strengthen us, O Lord, by this sacrament, so that we may profess the faith taught by Saint Patrick and proclaim it by our way of living. Through Christ our Lord.

Prayer over the People
O God, founder and ruler of your people, drive away the sins that assail them, that they may always be pleasing to you and ever safe under your protection. Through Christ our Lord.

The story of St. Patrick makes me to understand that slave trade was a universal problem and not just only for the Africans. As a young man Patrick was captured at his hometown in England by Irish pirates and sold as a slave in Ireland. While a slave in Ireland he had a firsthand experience of how the people were deeply engrossed in idolatry. After a successful attempt he returned to England where he decided to study to become a priest with the intention of returning to Ireland to convert the natives. Early medieval account credits Patrick with being the first bishop of Armagh and Primate of Ireland. He is known as the founder of Christianity in Ireland where he laboured day and night to convert a people who were practicing a form of Celtic polytheism. St. Patrick’s Day March 17 is celebrated as a religious and cultural festival all over the world in honor of his death. St. Patrick is known and celebrated as the patron saint of Ireland and Nigeria.

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