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Home > Article > St. Patrick, the Patron Saint of Ireland
 
St. Patrick, the Patron Saint of Ireland
 
St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, is one of Christianity's most widely known figures. It is believed that Patrick was born around 385 AD in Scotland to wealthy parents. His parents were Calpurnius and Conchessa, who were Romans living in Britain in charge of the colonies.

At the age of sixteen, Patrick was taken prisoner by Irish raiders who were attacking his family's estate and was taken to Ireland as a slave to herd and tend sheep. Lonely and afraid, he turned to his religion for consolation and became a devoted Christian.

During his captivity, he turned to God in prayer. He wrote: "The love of God and his fear grew in me more and more, as did the faith, and my soul was rose, so that, in a single day, I have said as many as a hundred prayers and in the night, nearly the same." "I prayed in the woods and on the mountain, even before dawn. I felt no hurt from the snow or ice or rain."

After more than six years in captivity, Patrick escaped after having a dream from God in which he was told to leave Ireland by going to the coast. There he found some sailors who took him back to Britain, where he reunited with his family.

Later, it is believed that Patrick experienced another dream in which the people of Ireland were calling out to him "We beg you, holy youth, to come and walk among us once more."

Soon after, Patrick began his studies for the priesthood that lasted more than fifteen years. After his ordination as a priest, he was sent to Ireland with a dual mission, to minister the Christians already living in Ireland and to begin to convert the Irish.

Patrick arrived in Ireland on 25 March 433 and began preaching the Gospel throughout Ireland, converting many. He and his disciples preached and converted thousands and began building churches all over the country.

Patrick preached and converted all of Ireland for 40 years. He worked many miracles and wrote of his love for God in Confessions. After years of living in poverty, traveling and enduring much suffering, he died on 17 March around 461 AD at Saul, where he had built the first church.

That day has been commemorated as St. Patrick's Day ever since. Though originally a Catholic holy day, now St. Patrick's Day has evolved into more of a secular holiday.
 
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