St. Patrick

An inspiration for us all

The history of St. Patrick abounds with legend, of which some may be true, and some are not, and as he lived such a long time ago, specific facts and dates are often disputed. However the clearest parts of his story are documented in his Confessio.

St. Patrick was born in the 5th Century. He was raised Catholic. He was taken from his home to Ireland as a slave when he was 16. While there he tended livestock. St. Patrick became devoted to prayer asking to be delivered from his circumstances and return to his family. Ultimately his prayers were answered, and he was able to escape. He learned the power of prayer, and the power of placing belief in God.

He returned to England, however he had not seen the last of Ireland. After returning home he had a vision “I saw a man coming, as it were from Ireland. His name was Victoricus, and he carried many letters, and he gave me one of them. I read the heading: ‘The Voice of the Irish.’ As I began the letter, I imagined in that moment that I heard the voice of those very people who were near the wood of Foclut, which is beside the western sea-and they cried out, as with one voice: ‘We appeal to you, holy servant boy, to come and walk among us.'”

To prepare he studied for the priesthood was eventually ordained a Bishop and sent to take the good news of the Gospel to Ireland. Through seemingly insurmountable obstacles he was able to convert thousands and spread the Gospel throughout Ireland, establishing Catholic churches and monasteries,across the land. He was sure that his faith was protected him by God in his mission. Along the way building churches, monasteries, and schools.

The story of St. Patrick is certainly embellished through the ages and it is difficult to tell what is real and what was added on along the way. He is noted for use of the Shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity. It is clear he remained devoted to prayer, strengthened in belief, sure of his support, and steadfast in his mission, trusting God to achieve his mission even in at the threat of death.

St. Patrick became extremely popular among the Irish diaspora during and following the great hunger (An Gorta Mor). Millions of Irish left Ireland, and many were unskilled laborers – taking whatever work they could get. On their own, and looked down upon in a strange land they longed for some positive reminder to call their own. – and St. Patrick’s day began to really take off.

So, wear your green, have a taste, but remember the Saint is the real story – which might be far more than you ever thought.

Video of History of St Patrick