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St. Patrick im Schottenstift

Die irische Gemeinde feierte am 16.3.24 den St. Patrick's Day im Schottenstift. Der 17. März ist der Gedenktag des Hl. Patrick, der im 5. Jh. in Irland wirkte.

Unter den Mitfeiernden waren Minister of State Kieran O'Donnell, Ambassador to the OSCE Anne-Marie Callan und Ambassador of the Republic of Ireland Eoin O’LearyMargit Exel, Präsidentin der Österreichisch-Irischen Gesellschaft, koordinierte die Feier mit den Musikern und der Botschaft und wirkte selbst als Sängerin mit.

Im Interview berichtet die Mitarbeiterin der Irischen Botschaft Katherine Dagg über die Tradition des Feiertags in Österreich. Daniel, der Violinist der Vienna International Music Apprenticeship, erzählt über die jugendlichen Musiker seines Ensembles, die aus verschiedenen Ländern kommen.

Aus der Predigt

Today early in the morning 50 students of our High School, the Schottengymnasium, flew to Dublin. They will spend a week in Ireland to practise English and learn about Irish culture. It will be their first time to visit Ireland. 16 year olds, they were already excited about their trip. 

St. Patrick came to Ireland in completely other circumstances. Although his vita is not certain, the story, which was delivered to us, seems credible. People were robbed by pirates. There were  Romans in this area. Ireland was not Christian in the 5th century. 
One story is that Patrick’s family lived on the East coast of Britain. He was born in Britain as son of a deacon and minor local official. At the age of 16 he was captured by Irish raiders from the house of his family. He spent six bleak years as a slave looking after the sheep. This period of his life turned to be important for his inner development. He felt the importance of his faith. In his “confession”, remembering his own life, he stated, “I give thanks to the one who strengthened me in all things.” The more, he understood, that all his deeds were bound to Jesus, who “would not impede me in the course I had undertaken and from the works also which I had learned from Christ my Lord”. Patrick managed to flee from Ireland. He became a monk and returned to Ireland already as a missionary with a mandate of the Pope and the Church. 

What did he find in Ireland? Was he welcome? Did everybody love to see him as a preacher of another religion? 

“It was then that I looked for him with all my strength, and there I found him, and he protected me from all evils – this is what I believe – on account of his Spirit living and working in me to this very day.” Patrick looked for God with all his mental strength. Through his own efforts and the Lord’s grace he became a great help to all people seeking God.

In these days a friend of mine said to me a sentence which I won’t forget for its deepness: “I don’t know Him, but I miss Him.” He is longing for perceiving God. He has acknowledged the importance of the Church, which unites and helps people. He knows that the cause of the Church’s strength is the belief in Jesus Christ. But he doesn’t feel God’s presence in his life, at the same time longing for this feeling. “I don’t know Him, but I miss Him.”

The conscience of God’s existence opens one’s mind for the own being, as Jeremiah quotes the Lord: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you came to birth, I consecrated you.” (Jer 5,1) Then, when acting, you may feel not competent, not strong enough. You may experience your own fragility and weakness, as Peter says, “Leave me, Lord; I am a sinful man” (Lk 5,8) 

Patrick became a saint for his faithfulness. He confessed that the Lord “is the one who defended me in all my difficulties”. 

I think that my friend intuitively feels this power of believing in God. He wants to open the door to a new, a broader consciousness of the spiritual world.  

His words impressed me as priest and a friend. So I asked my students what they would recommend. A girl answered, the he should integrate faith to his daily life: thank God at the beginning of the day, ask him for help in various situation, be conscious of his presence while speaking to other people.

I recommended my friend in a similar way just to dare to speak to Christ. He can do it at home, in the nature, at any place. He told me that he likes the atmosphere in churches. 

The big step of entering the world of faith begins with these small steps which indeed are the most important: just speak with Christ, read his words, accept his life as a fact. Then Christ himself will open the door to faith. Christ once helped his future disciples to be successful fishermen. They were “completely awestruck at the catch they had made” (Lk 5,9)

The Lord helps us to succeed in spiritual life, to find roots in the faith. I am sure he will reveal Himself to everybody who is seeking him. Amen.


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Stammersdorf: Jeden Freitag 18.00 (Pfarrer Georg Papp)

Enzersfeld: Jeden Samstag nach der Abendmesse (P. Sebastian)

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