Saint Patrick of Ireland is one of the most famous saints on Earth. His roots trace to Roman Britain where he was born. He was abducted by Irish pirates aged 16 during a raiding party. He became enslaved and was hired out as a sheep herder. During that time, Ireland didn’t know Christianity as Druids and pagans dominated the region. Patrick chose to become Christian and wrote a memoir titled The Confession.
He lived in captivity until his 20th year when he escaped after God appeared to him in a dream and instructed him to leave Ireland through the coast. He met sailors who gave him passage back to Britain where he was reunited with his family.
After living in Britain a couple years Patrick had another dream. In the dream, he saw a man approaching him as it were from Ireland. The man (named Victoricus), gave Patrick one of many letters in his possession titled “The Voice of the Irish.”
The dream encouraged him to pursue his studies in the priesthood. He followed this advice and was later ordained a Christian priest by St. Germanus, the Bishop of Auxerre. Later, he was consecrated as a bishop and sent back to Ireland to spread the word of God.
With the help of his Jerusalem cross he preached and converted many to Christianity for over four decades. He performed numerous miracles and shared his love for the Almighty in his work “The Confession.” He died at Saul where he constructed the first church in Ireland. His body was buried in Down Cathedral, Downpatrick. His burial chamber was marked with a granite stone in the early 1990s.
Here are some of the things many people don’t know about Patrick, patron saint and prominent apostle of Ireland.
He was not Irish
St Patrick came from a wealthy family in Britain and not Ireland. Studies claim that he was abducted to Ireland aged 15 by Irish pirates and taken to Ireland against his will. He started to transform into Christianity during his five years as a slave. While serving as a prisoner, difficult life on the cold and rainy island taught him how to depend on God. When managed to escape, St Patrick is said to have received the voice of the Lord instructing him to leave Ireland. After landing in Britain, he had another dream telling him to go back to Ireland as a missionary. This is the moment when St. Patrick started his famous work of spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ in the whole of Ireland.
Additionally, his real name was not Patrick. Even though a large portion of Patrick’s life is a theory, it is evident that his real name was not Patrick. An Irish legend claims that his birth name was Maewyn Succat, and later changed to Patrick when became a bishop.
He was a prisoner
While at the age of 15, Patrick was abducted in by raiders and taken to Ireland as a prisoner to look after a head of the sheep. He later escaped when he was 20 after having a dream from God prompting to escape from captivity by going to the coast. He managed to convince some sailors who took him back to Britain to reunite with his people.
He has only two known works, and he died on March 17
Even though St Patrick has a good reputation, he is always honored because he brought Christianity to Ireland. His holiday is celebrated and observed in the whole country and its borders. He built his legacy in only two writings known as confession and Letter to Coroticus that opposes the British mistreatment of Irish Christians.
March 17th of every year is a special day for all Christians that is marked by celebrations and festivals. However, it is observed as a commemoration Patrick’s death that occurred on this day around 460 AD. Currently, Americans have invented many traditions on Patrick’s day, even the Irish soldiers made the first St Patrick’s parades in a quest to be connected to their Irish origin.
St. Patrick supposedly chased the snakes from Ireland
According to the Irish legend, St Patrick drove all the snakes in Ireland to the ocean in the 15th century AD. While Ireland doesn’t have any snake up to date, St Patrick is not the one to acknowledge, the national geographic claims.
There is a possibility that the snakes never existed in the island. This means that he never chased any real snakes out of the island nation. There is no fossil proof of the creatures in Ireland, and the cold sea surrounding the country make it too uninhabitable for snakes to live there. The myth probably stems from the creatures in images of St Patrick that symbolized the evil and unchristian ways he drove out of the nation.
He took Christianity to Ireland and used shamrocks to represent the Holy Trinity
Even though the island nation comprised of mostly Druid and pagans when Patrick visited to country, the saint managed to transform the whole kingdoms to Christianity in the 40 years he lived there.
Even though shamrocks are universal on St Patrick’s day, they offer a richer history. According to Brittanica, the shamrocks were first used by the saint to illustrate the Holy Trinity. The three prolonged plant represented the concept of the three aspects in one God.
Apart from him being the patron of Ireland, he serves as a patron saint of engineers and Nigeria. Patrick is acknowledged with the building of the first clay church in Ireland and teaching people how to use lime mortar instead of dry masonry. For this reason, he was recognized as the patron of engineers. St Patrick is also the patron of saint of Nigeria that was evangelized by the Irish missionaries and priest from Saint Patrick’s Missionary Society called Kiltegan Missionaries.
Patrick was a humble and religious man of God whose love and devotion to the creator should be a good example to many. Due to his complete trust in God and of the significance of his mission, he never feared anything, even death.
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