The Penal Cross: symbol of the persecuted Catholic Church in Ireland
Today in Ireland we celebrate the feast of all the Saints of our land. From the earliest pre-Patrician saints, to Ss Patrick, Brigid and Colmcille (our national patrons), to our monks, nuns, laity, our missionaries, our martyrs and our more recent holy men and women: today we celebrate the triumph of the Gospel in the hearts of our countrymen and women, praying that it may too change our hearts and sanctify us.
Celebrating this feast after yesterday's announcement and what has happened in the last couple of decades from child abuse to abortion, to Celtic Tiger greed and the gradual abandonment of the faith, we realise that we need the intercession of our Irish Saints to sustain us and kick-start the New Evangelisation in Ireland. There are roots and new shoots, so let us pray that they will grow strong. Yes, perhaps the fertile effects of persecution may be required to turn the hearts of the Irish back to God, if so, then so be it: just as long as our Saints make their presence felt and they help us keep our eyes fixed on the Lord.