St PATRICK (5th century)
I give untiring thanks to God who kept me faithful in the time of trial, so that today I may confidently offer my soul as a living sacrifice for Christ my Lord. Who am I, Lord, or what is my calling, that you revealed yourself so intimately to me that today I might constantly praise and glorify your name everywhere among the pagans – and not only in good times, but in bad? So whatever befalls me, be it good or bad, I should accept it equally, and give thanks always to God who revealed to me that I can trust him, implicitly and forever, and who will encourage me so that, though old and unschooled, I may dare to undertake so holy and so wonderful a work; so that I might imitate one of those whom, long ago, the Lord already pre-ordained to be heralds of his Gospel to witness to all peoples to the ends of the earth. This we can now see, and so it has come about. Behold, we are witnesses that the Gospel has been preached as far as the places beyond which no-one lives.