Monday, March 29, 2021

Online Book Club - Wrapping Up March: St Patrick's Example of Patience

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I've joined in with some blogging friends for an online book club, and we are wrapping up this week. By the way, all our readers are invited to join in as well. Each month we'll have a theme to build our book picks around, and our March theme was St Patrick. 

St Patrick was a great theme for March, and at first I thought I'd re-read one of my favorite novels, Patrick: Son of Ireland by Stephen R Lawhead. This novelized version of St Patrick's life has been a regular read for me over the years, probably every other year in March. However, I happened upon a biography of the saint on Kindle that's geared for young readers, and thought it likely that I could finish it during the month. Plus my high school Lit class was studying biographies for a few weeks. I haven't quite finished Patrick: A Spark in the Darkness by Jessica Dunn, but have read far enough to share a few thoughts about it.


Patrick: A Spark in the Darkness by Jessica Dunn is a novelized version of St Patrick's life, based in large part on his autobiographical "Confessions", and tells his story simply but dramatically. This version is appropriate for adults, teens, and even pre-teens. The hard conditions and suffering of slavery are presented in a straightforward way, not glossing over the pain or injustice but not portrayed in graphic or gratuitous detail. 

Patrick was a careless and somewhat selfish young Roman citizen in Britain, until he was captured by raiding Irishmen. Still in his teens, Patrick was sold into slavery in Ireland, where he bitterly resented the hardships and humiliations he faced while forced to tend sheep. After he begins worshiping with a small band of Christians, he also embraces God and his attitude changes. He becomes more loving and kind, takes pride and pleasure in doing his work well, and as he learns to trust God, he also learns patience in suffering. He also learns that he can be free in spirit even though he is enslaved, and he learns to endure the taunts and threats of the druids and his pagan captors.

Eventually Patrick is able to escape but his journey takes another turn as he is captured again, and winds up in Europe. He is finally reunited with his family, though, but grows restless as he thinks about his Irish friends. One night he receives a vision of a letter begging him to return to Ireland, which he recognizes as a call from God. So he returns as a missionary to Ireland, patiently explaining peace and freedom to the people who once were his captors and tormentors.

Teens and adults who are interested in a biography of the patron saint of Ireland would find this an excellent read, and younger children might enjoy it as a read-aloud.

Visit Hopkins Homeschool to find out more about the online book club, and visit all the participating bloggers to see what they've read as part of this theme!

This post is also part of the Write 28 Days Blogging Challenge hosted by Anita Ojeda. Find all my posts for the challenge here: Write 28 Days Blogging Challenge - DisappointedThe challenge took place during February 2021, and I did create content every day, but some articles were not ready to be published during those 28 days, and others - like this one! - were created later but seemed to fit one of the word prompts.

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Lori - At Home: where life happens said...

Glad you found something that fit into life this month. It is a hard theme for those without little ones.

Annette said...

I like Lawhead books, but I didn't know the Patrick one. I'll have find that one.

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