Saint Patrick – March 17

Patrick grew up on his father’s farm by the sea in either Wales, Ireland or Scotland.  In 404, at age 16, Patrick was kidnapped by pirates and sold to an islander where he herded sheep for 6 years before he escaped and returned home.

Patrick had a vision of evangelizing Ireland which still worshipped idols.  He went to the monks at Lerins Abbey and the school of bishops at Auxerre, both in France, from 415-432 and became a deacon, then a bishop.

The Romans had recently left Ireland and it was ruled by many kings, the heads of the clans.  They ruled absolutely over their lands and their people. Thus the people had the faith of their rulers.  Patrick’s story is one of converting these kings, one by one.

Patrick died about 461.  Many legends grew up around St. Patrick which expresses the extent to which the Irish venerate the man who made them Christian.

From:  Lives of the Saints by Omer Englebert

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