Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

A Cute Story

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, February 27, 2011

County Mayo is a part of Ireland that was hallowed by St. Patrick’s ministry there.

They tell the story of a dramatic conversion of an Irish chieftain by the name of Ossian.

A huge crowd assembled in a field to witness Ossian’s baptism. St. Patrick arrived in his Bishop’s vestments with his miter and staff. St. Patrick stuck his staff in the ground and began to preach a long sermon on the Catholic faith. The people noted that Ossian, who was standing directly in front of St. Patrick, began to sweat profusely, he grew pale and fainted dead away.

Some people rushed over to help and they discovered to everyone’s horror that St. Patrick had driven his staff through the man’s foot. When they were able to revive Ossian they said to him, ‘Why did you not say something?’ And the fierce warrior replied, ‘I thought that it was part of the ceremony.’

The warrior did not understand too much about liturgy and rituals, but he did understand that discipleship is often difficult. It means carrying the Cross. It is a costly grace and often we fall down on the job.


This is an excerpt of a talk given by Apostolic Visitor, Cardinal Séan O’Malley of Boston, in a Liturgy of Repentance in Dublin, Ireland‘s St Mary’s Pro-Cathedral, Sunday, February 20, 2011, and published in the entry entitled “On Behalf of the Holy Father, I Ask Forgiveness” in the blog “Whispers in the Loggia.”

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