Patrick of Ireland


Patrick of Ireland

St. Patrick, patron of Ireland, was born in Roman Britain sometime around the year AD 387.  He was the son of a deacon and the grandson of a priest, but doesn’t appear to have had a solid life of faith when he was captured by pirates at age 16 and brought to Ireland as a slave.  It was there, during six years captivity, that he gave his life to Christ.  After escaping the island by boat when he was in his twenties, he journeyed to Gaul (modern day France) where he learned more about his Christian faith.  He became a monk and a cleric at the Abbey of Lerins in Southern France and evidently was consecrated bishop, probably by St. Germanus of Auxerre.  After a vision wherein he saw Irish people calling him to come back to the Emerald Isle, he did indeed return as a missionary bishop, braving no small amount of hardship as he went about baptizing thousands and ordaining priests to serve the people.  In the course of about 30 years, he succeeded in bringing the entire island to faith in Christ.  The exact dates of his birth, death and arrival in Ireland cannot be determined with certainty, though he died around 461 AD.  The day of his death appears to have been March 17 which still serves as his feast day.  The only two works of his which have survived are his Confessions and his Letter to the Soldiers of Coroticus.