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St. Patrick: the writer and saint

I stopped by the public library a couple of years ago to find a book. I did as I always do and made my way to the religion section. Most of the public library fare in this section is miserable. Not worth my time at all. But a couple of titles seemed promising. A book on the saints. A book by JPII. And Confessions of St. Patrick.

That’s where I began.

Later in the evening, I curled up with my 1st pick – Confessions. Soon after, I noticed a lovely scent. I dismissed it. Read a couple more pages. There it was again. I smelled my hands. Had I used a new lotion? No. It wasn’t my hands. I turned the page. Once again, the faint scent of Holy Chrism Oil. I’d know that smell anywhere. I stopped reading. I stopped turning pages.

I held the book up to my face and inhaled deeply. This book smells like Confirmation! I thought. How is it possible that a public library book would smell like this? Who had owned this book before the St. Charles Public Library System? A parish priest? A bishop? Had it sat on a shelf in an Adoration Chapel for decades before finally coming to rest on this shelf, where any man or woman could find it?

I drank in the aroma of the Holy Spirit and leaned back into the pillows for two hours of reading.

Here’s one of my favorite quotes from that day’s journey into the writings of the saints:

“I pray my God that he will grant me perseverance and allow me to prove a faithful witness right up to the time of my passing over, for my God’s sake.”

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