Who was Saint Patrick?

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Saint Patrick was born in Scotland to Roman parents. After being kidnapped, Patrick was able to convert all of Ireland to Christianity in his lifetime.

Saint Patrick was born in Kilpatrick, Scotland, somewhere between 385 and 387. His parents, Calpurnius and Conchessa, were both Roman citizens, in charge of the Scottish colonies. At the age of sixteen (some sources say fourteen) ,Saint Patrick was kidnapped by a band of Irish marauders, along with most of his parents’ servants. He was then sold as a slave and spent the next six years in Ireland, tending flocks of sheep and praying. He had a dream where God told Patrick to travel towards the sea. The next day, Patrick began walking, escaping his life as a slave. He walked 200 hundred miles to the coast, where he found a ship docked and escaped to Britain.

Priesthood

Once escaped from slavery, Saint Patrick became ordained under Pope Celestine I. Patrick once more had a vision of God during a dream where God told him it was his purpose to convert all of Ireland under one God. Saint Patrick then ventured back to Ireland. Upon arriving on Irish soil on March 25, 433, one of Ireland’s chieftains tried to attack Patrick. But his arms became rigid, and stayed that way until he pledged obedience to Patrick and to God. This was the first of Patrick’s miracles.

Pagans and Druids

Trying to convert Ireland to Christianity was a massive feat for Saint Patrick. The countryside was riddled with pagans and druids, who fought against Patrick and his missionaries. But Patrick was successful. Throughout his life he converted the King of Killala, as well as his six sons, and over 12,000 Irish people. Saint Patrick described the trinity of Christianity in the Shamrock, which he gave to the chieftains of Ireland during the week of Easter.

Legacy

Saint Patrick succeeded in the task both God and Pope Celestine I sent him on. He converted all of Ireland and left very few druids or pagans. He also left a legacy behind him. Saint Patrick concentrated at least 350 bishops in his wake. He also left writings of his life and beliefs. The Confessio and Epistola ad Coroticum are still discussed today.

Death

Saint Patrick died in Saul, Ireland, the same place where he had build his first church. The date of his death is March 17th, but critics argue about the year. Some say 460 or 461, while others date it as late as 493. Saint Patrick is considered the Apostle of Ireland. And, as we all know, his holy day is March 17th, Saint Patrick’s Day.