Here's a little summary of St. Patrick that I wrote up.
Saint Patrick: The Man Behind the Legends
St. Patrick lived in fourth-century Briton, and his home was probably on the west coast of modern-day
At the age of sixteen, Patrick was captured by slave traders and sold to a slave owner in
Back in Briton, Patrick decided to study for the priesthood. But he had missed important years of his education. Late in life, he still regretted missing those formative years and lamented about how poor his Latin was.
But Patrick did not become bitter about his years of slavery. Instead, he had another dream. In this one, the Irish begged him to come back to them. Surprisingly, Patrick decided to do just that—return to the land of his captivity to bring the good news to Jesus to the Irish people.
Many years later, after becoming a priest and then finally a bishop, Patrick's dream to return to
Unlike the legends, he did not drive snakes from
Did Patrick explain the concept of the Trinity—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—with a shamrock? Perhaps. It's not known for certain. But what we do know by letters that Patrick himself penned is that he believed, confessed, and preached about God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and that that Irish people clung to this message of salvation.
In that time, when Roman civilization was crumbling, many people believed that the end of the world was near. So Patrick took the message of the Christian faith with urgency to
In the years after Christianity spread in
That one man—a former slave—could have accomplished all this is remarkable. But it wasn't one man who had achieved so much. It was a gracious God who blessed the humble efforts of a man whose message of Jesus Christ and the forgiveness and mercy of God transformed history.
· Patrick's own writings: Confessio and Letter to Coroticus (The Confession of Saint Patrick, translated by John Skinner, foreword by John O'Donohue; Image Books, Doubleday, 1998.)
· St. Patrick of
· How the Irish Saved Civilization by Thomas Cahill, Doubleday, 1995.