Saint Patrick was a renowned Christian missionary being one of Ireland’s greatest bishops and can be found on the Biblical Timeline with World History around 450 AD. He was noted as the country’s main patron saint, aside from Saints Columba and Brigit. In the 5th century, Patrick served as a missionary, and he was also Armagh’s first bishop. Based on historians, Patrick was originally from Great Britain but Irish pirates captured him from his home and took him as a slave when they reached Ireland. After six years, the young teenager managed to escape from slavery and returned to his family. Soon, he became a cleric and traveled to western and northern Ireland. He lived his life serving numerous people during his missionary works. During the 7th century, he was proclaimed as Ireland’s patron saint.
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A native of Roman Britain, Patrick was born of a pious family. His father was a former deacon while his grandfather was a priest. As a child, Patrick was not as religious as his father and grandfather. However, the twists and turns in his life, when he was only 16 caused a dramatic change in his religious beliefs. After the pirates captured Patrick and took him as a slave, he believed it was through the Lord’s mercy that he gained freedom again. As a slave, Patrick managed to strengthen his faith in God as he continued to pray and eventually converted to Christianity.
He claimed that after his 6th year of captivity, a voice told him there was a ship ready to take him back home. So, Patrick left and traveled 200 miles to reach the port where a ship was waiting. Although he experienced some difficulties convincing the captain to allow him inside the ship, his prayers were answered when he finally stepped foot in the vessel that was headed to Britain.
However, this was not the end of Patrick’s struggles. Along with all passengers of the ship, he walked for 28 days in the wilderness just to reach his home. During his journey, he encouraged his companions to believe in God and continue their faith of reaching their destination safely. He eventually found his way back to his family. Patrick was in his early 20s by then. His ardent faith in God motivated him to study Christianity and learn more about this religion.
After his studies in Europe, he went to Marmoutier Abbey, which was in Tours. It was not too long after his visit to the Abbey that he was ordained by Saint Germanus of Auxerre. However, Patrick had a vision that led him back to Ireland to work as a missionary. Upon arrival to this country where he was once a slave, the locals forced him to leave. He then decided to go up north of Ireland where he found a place to rest on the islands situated at the Skerries coast.
Writings attribute St. Patrick for explaining to the Irish about the doctrine of the Holy Trinity by using the shamrock, a three-leafed plant, to demonstrate the Christian belief of three persons in one God. This event was first recorded in 1726. However, it may be much older. Since then, the shamrock has since become a primary representative for St Patrick’s Day.
As a missionary, he baptized numerous individuals and ordained priests. His actions then started more Christian communities. Being a foreigner in the land, Patrick had no legal protection, and he experienced physical torture from his adversaries. He was also said to have been held captive for about 60 days until his death. His determination to spread messages of love and faith in God became his greatest legacy. This made him one of Ireland’s most celebrated saints throughout history.
Picture By Sicarr – Flickr, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=6073666
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