Who was St. Patrick? Learn the brief history of man of the holiday here!
The History of St. Patrick
Patrick was born the grandson of a priest in what is now Scotland northwest of Glasgow in about 430 AD. At sixteen years old, his village was raided by Irish warriors, and Patrick was taken to Ireland, a pagan country, where he was forced into slavery. He spent the next six years, working in bondage to an Irish cheiftan, and in prayer to the God he had heard of throughout his childhood, but had never made a committment to. As he prayed, he became a believe in Jesus Christ as a Christian, promising to always serve Him.
Then, while sleeping, Patrick heard a voice which told him to fast to prepare for his journey home. The voice told him when to flee, as his ship would be ready. He obeyed, and after a two hundred mile trek, he reached the coast, and boarded a ship. In the many following years, he grew in his faith. One night, Patrick had another dream in which a man named Victorious, brought him a letter, and Patrick, as he says, heard ” the voice of the Irish ” crying for him to return to Ireland. He awoke with a burning love for the people in the land in which he had been enslaved, spurring him to return to his previous captors with the message of Jesus and His redemptive crucifiction on the cross. In St. Patrick’s Confessions, he wrote, “I am greatly God’s debtor because He granted me so much grace, that through me many people would be reborn in God.”
How did Patrick bring the Irish to the Lord? Did he chase the snakes out of Ireland? Did he use the shamrock to teach the Trinity? Maybe, but it is certain that he stood up to Irish kings and druids in the face of death proclaiming his God before them as the one and only God. His love and faith led many to believe. When a cheiftan came to faith, his kingdom also followed. Patrick trained these new followers in Christian principals and the Gospel while establishing churches and monasteries throughout most of Ireland. He worked ceaselessly pealing away the years of instituted immorality, including rebuking those who participated in Irish slavery. By the end of his life, Irish slavery was abolished.
Out of this work of love, Ireland became a strong Christian culture, which has impacted all of Europe and carried over to the United States.