"In the Name of the Lord"
ST. PATRICK: THE IRISH LEGEND presents the larger than life story of St. Patrick in a very humane and intelligent fashion without losing the power of God operating in his life. The historical details that remain about the life of St. Patrick are steeped in supernatural events. So much so, that he is either discounted by secular historians or embraced with religious zealotry. This extremely well-made television movie retains the supernatural events but goes beyond them to plunge the depths of St. Patrick and his relationship with God.
The movie opens with St. Patrick supernaturally stopping a druid sacrifice of a young maiden. Next, the movie cuts to the older St. Patrick writing his biography. Then, the movie flashes back to his youth when he preferred to go on wild rides through the forest than do his studies in the small plantation home of his father, who is a Roman tax collector.
One night, the young Patrick sneaks away from his house to attend a druid ceremony. As if by God’s judgment, Irish raiders capture him and take him back to Ireland, where he is sold into slavery. Reviling his fate as he watches over his master’s sheep, he is confronted by God’s Holy Spirit and has an incredible epiphany.
He spends the next years of slavery praying and getting close to God. When he is finally told by God to sail back to England, he is a changed man. His father wants him to take up running the plantation, but Patrick wants to go into the priesthood so that he can go back to Ireland armed with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Patrick spends years studying for the priesthood and finally is supernaturally given the opportunity to go back to Ireland. As he steps ashore and plants his Bishop’s staff, the snakes flee the island. He seeks out the high king and does spiritual warfare with the druid priests. The Lord’s anointing is clearly upon him, which enrages some of the bishops back in England, who try to have him removed.
The greatness of this production is the character of St. Patrick. He has qualities which will touch every man and woman, and his relationship with God is extremely vibrant and real.
There are only two very minor flaws, if they can even be called flaws. In a strange scene where he returns to his father’s house, the voices of Ireland appeal to him to come back and save their country. Whether these voices are apparitions of angels or his own mental condition is not clear, but it is clear throughout the production that God is Sovereign and that God is the one true God who created and controls heaven and earth. Another very minor question mark in this extremely Christian production is the lack of the use of the name of Jesus. He is evoked as the Lord and Savior, icons and actions testify to Him and yet there is surprisingly little use of His Name. There is such a strong Christian heart to this movie that one wonders whether Hollywood executives interceded on this point.
Even so, ST. PATRICK: THE IRISH LEGEND is a strong testimony to Jesus Christ and St. Patrick’s sole purpose is to witness to Him who set Ireland free from cannibalism and paganism and who is prepared to set all those free who come to Him today.
(CCC, V, M) Very strong Christian worldview; no foul language; beating of slaves, kidnapping of young boy and animal sacrifice, but everything done in a toned down fashion for television; no sex; no nudity; alcohol use; no smoking or drugs; and, pagan ceremonies are rebuked with supernatural divine intervention.
ST. PATRICK: THE IRISH LEGEND presents the larger than life story of St. Patrick in a very humane, intelligent fashion without losing the power of God operating in his life. The young Patrick sneaks away from his house to attend a druid ceremony. Irish raiders capture him and take him to Ireland, where he’s sold into slavery. As he watches over his new master’s sheep, he’s confronted by God’s Holy Spirit. He spends the next years of slavery praying and getting close to God. When God finally tells him to sail back to England, he’s a changed man. Patrick spends years studying for the priesthood and finally is given the opportunity to return to Ireland armed with the Gospel.
The greatness of this production is St. Patrick’s character. He has qualities that will touch every man, and his relationship with God is extremely vibrant and real. Although Jesus Christ is evoked as Savior, there is surprisingly little use of His Name. Even so, St. Patrick’s sole purpose is to witness to Jesus, and thereby set Ireland free from paganism. ST. PATRICK: THE IRISH LEGEND is highly commended.