Saint Patrick

Saint Patrick (387-461) is the patron saint of Ireland and celebrated each year on March 17th.  He is most known for establishing the Christian church in Ireland during the fifth century AD.

Saint Patrick was born in Scotland in 387 to Roman parents living near Kilpatrick.  At the age of sixteen he was kidnapped by Irish raiders and taken to Ireland to become a slave.  For the next six years he was held captive to watch over flocks of sheep as well as learning the Irish language all while in seclusion.  During this time of solitude he grew a strong faith in God as he prayed daily that one day he would escape slavery.

At the age of twenty two, after having a dream that he would soon be freed, he escaped slavery and made his way to the Irish coast where he was given free pass on a sailing ship back to Britain. Here he was reunited with his family.

When he returned home, Patrick had another dream in which he heard voices from Ireland “calling out” to him for help.  It was then Patrick decided to become a priest and entered into priesthood.

After several years of priesthood studies, and missionary work he was ordained a Bishop. On March 25, 433, at the age of 46 Saint Patrick, along with a group of missionaries, returned to Ireland on a quest to preach the word of God to the Christians already living in Ireland and to covert non-Christian Irish.

Patrick would spend the next three decades preaching the word of God all over the country of Ireland.  He and his followers built churches all over the countryside.  Because he was already familiar with the Irish language and culture, he was very successful in reaching out to all of the Irish, from the poor to the rich.  It is widely believed that Patrick began to use the shamrock, a three leaf clover to explain the importance of the holy trinity in his teaching (God, the son, and the holy sprit) as a three in one identity.

Although he was a widely known saint in Ireland, Saint Patrick lived life mostly in poverty and often suffered for his beliefs.  He died in Ireland on March 17th, 461 at the location of the first church he built in Ireland, in Saul.

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~ by daroldingram on March 17, 2010.

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