The date and location of St. Patrick’s birth are unknown; however, he was born around 389. He was the son of Calpirnius, a Roman-British deacon, and Conchessa. Contrary to popular belief, he was not Irish but is of Roman-British descent.
He served as a slave beginning at the age of 16 and was carried off to Ireland where he would serve as a herdsman to heathen master. Even though life was difficult he held onto his faith and actually learned the importance of prayer and contemplation. At the age of 24, he escaped and returned home to Britain, but in a dream was told to return to Ireland to bring Christianity to the island. He studied from 412-415 at the monastery of Lerins and was ordained a priest in 417 by St. Amator in Auxerre.
In 431, he was sent to assist Bishop Paladius in Ireland. On the death of the Bishop, St. Patrick was consecrated a Bishop in 432 by St. Germanus during the papacy of Pope Celestine I. Despite hostility from the Druids, St. Patrick preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ and brought many to believe in Him throughout all of Ireland.
In 442, he was commissioned to begin the Church in Ireland by Pope Leo the Great. Armagh became the primatial See. He also ordained more Bishops to serve in other locations throughout the country. Ireland became a Christian nation and the Irish monks brought the Faith to England, France, and Switzerland. It is these monks that began the Sacrament of Reconciliation as we have it today.
After years of service to Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church, St. Patrick died on March 17, 461 in the monastery of Saul. He was never formally canonized a saint in the Catholic Church, however, on March 17, 1631, the Church formally established a feast day for him, although he had been venerated since the 5th century in Ireland. He is known as “The Apostle to Ireland.”
Quotes by Saint Patrick –
“I was like a stone lying in the deep mire, and He that is mighty came, and in His mercy lifted me up, and verily raised me aloft and placed me on the top of the wall.”
“Then the Lord opened my mind and senses to the nature of my unbelief so that I may—however late—remember my sins and turn with all my heart to the Lord my God. He turned His attention to my abject humility and took pity on my youth and ignorance. He watched over me and protected me before I knew him and before I was wise enough to distinguish between good and evil. He strengthened me and comforted me as a father consoles a son.”
Although Saint Patrick’s famous prayer is known as St. Patrick’s Breastplate there are quite a few prayers attributed to him and written about him. You can find them here – Prayers of Saint Patrick.
Saint Patrick…Pray for Us
Author’s note: I chose to write about St. Patrick again so that the students at the University of Mary would learn more about the great saint of Ireland on St. Patrick’s Day.
Categories: Saints & Angels