By Cian Molloy - 17 March, 2018
The family is at the centre of Archbishop Eamon Martin’s message for St Patrick’s Day, a day that is special to the Irish at home and abroad.
The central theme of the message is not surprising given that the World Meeting of Families is due to take place in Dublin at August, but St Patrick’s Day is also a day for the Family of the Irish connecting with one another, says the Archbishop of Armagh.
“Family is all about ‘connection’. Family connects us to a home, ár muintir féin, the people who are our flesh and blood. It links us to a community, a parish, a county and an ever-expanding network of people and places.
“Family also connects us to a history and culture, a language and tradition, to our ‘DNA’, our roots, to our past, present and future. For many of us, family connects us to faith and values, to baptism and the community of believers.
“I pray that Ireland’s hosting of the World Meeting of Families will enable families, especially those who know and love Ireland, to ‘connect’ and ‘re-connect’ at a whole variety of levels, both with each other and with the wider ‘family of families’ that is their Church.
“On this Saint Patrick’s Day, I am praying especially for those for whom the connections within family life are broken by distance, by disagreement or breakdown, or simply by the pace and distractions of the fast-moving everyday life in the 21st century.
“Sometimes we are so busy that families lose touch or drift apart for want of quality time spent together. Simple things like telling each other how we are feeling, eating together, making the effort to be in each other’s company, sharing memories and news of what’s happening in each other’s lives, and of course praying together even for a few moments – these are the links that connect and re-connect families with each other.”
The Archibhsop, who is the apostolic successor of St Patrick, the Evangelist of the Gael, concluded his message by saying, “On this feast of our Patron Saint, I bless from Ireland, families all over the world, as Saint Patrick often did, in the name of God as a ‘Family of Persons’ – Father, Son and Spirit – and I pray that God will be in your heart, home and family today and always.”