> St. Patrick, the Patron Saint of Ireland
| St. Patrick, the
Patron Saint of Ireland
Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, is one of
Christianity's most widely known figures. It is
believed that Patrick was born around 385 AD in
Scotland to wealthy parents. His parents were Calpurnius
and Conchessa, who were Romans living in Britain
in charge of the colonies.
At the age of sixteen, Patrick was taken prisoner
by Irish raiders who were attacking his family's
estate and was taken to Ireland as a slave to herd
and tend sheep. Lonely and afraid, he turned to
his religion for consolation and became a devoted
During his captivity, he turned to God in prayer.
He wrote: "The love of
God and his fear grew in me more and more, as did
the faith, and my soul was rose, so that, in a single
day, I have said as many as a hundred prayers and
in the night, nearly the same." "I
prayed in the woods and on the mountain, even before
dawn. I felt no hurt from the snow or ice or rain."
After more than six years in captivity, Patrick
escaped after having a dream from God in which he
was told to leave Ireland by going to the coast.
There he found some sailors who took him back to
Britain, where he reunited with his family.
Later, it is believed that Patrick experienced another
dream in which the people of Ireland were calling
out to him "We beg you,
holy youth, to come and walk among us once more."
Soon after, Patrick began his studies for the priesthood
that lasted more than fifteen years. After his ordination
as a priest, he was sent to Ireland with a dual
mission, to minister the Christians already living
in Ireland and to begin to convert the Irish.
Patrick arrived in Ireland on 25 March 433 and began
preaching the Gospel throughout Ireland, converting
many. He and his disciples preached and converted
thousands and began building churches all over the
Patrick preached and converted all of Ireland for
40 years. He worked many miracles and wrote of his
love for God in Confessions. After years of living
in poverty, traveling and enduring much suffering,
he died on 17 March around 461 AD at Saul, where
he had built the first church.
That day has been commemorated as St. Patrick's
Day ever since. Though originally a Catholic holy
day, now St. Patrick's Day has evolved into more
of a secular holiday.
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