Many people celebrate St. Patrick’s Day on March 17. However, few people can answer, “Who was St. Patrick?” There are many legends about him, including one that he banished all snakes from Ireland. Here are the facts about St. Patrick’s life.
Who was St. Patrick Growing Up?
St. Patrick was born into a wealthy British family in the late 300s. Although his father was a Christian deacon, there is no indication that St. Patrick grew up in a Christian home. The truth about St. Patrick’s father is that he likely took the position for financial, not religious, reasons.
Who was St. Patrick at 16?
St. Patrick’s life changed when he was 16. He was taken captive by Irish plunderers during a raid.
Who was St. Patrick in Captivity?
There have been debates about St. Patrick’s location during imprisonment. He was either kept at Mount Shelmish, in Antrim County or near Killala, in May County. Either way, he worked as a shepherd during his captivity in Ireland.
Six years into his captivity, the story about St. Patrick claims, a voice came to him during a vision. He believed this voice was God, and it told him to leave Ireland. These claims about St. Patrick’s vision are documented in his personal writings.
Who was St. Patrick During Escape?
The details about St. Patrick’s escape are few. He walked to the Irish coast and took a ship to Britain. If he was held in Mayo County, then this would have been a 200 miles journey.
Who was St. Patrick in Britain?
In Britain, St. Patrick had a second vision. An angel appeared to him during a dream and told him to return to Ireland, as a missionary.
St. Patrick spent 15 years in Britain, after his second vision, preparing to return to Ireland. After studying theology, he was ordained and commissioned to Ireland.
Interestingly, the contracts about St. Patrick’s mission to Ireland indicate that he was to minister to the Christians there and convert the non-Christians. This suggests that the idea about St. Patrick introducing Ireland to Christianity is false.
Who was St. Patrick in Ireland?
There have been discussions about St. Patrick’s methods in Ireland. Rather than teaching directly against the Irish’s rituals, he incorporated them into Christianity. Bonfires were one ritual he adapted.
St. Patrick also imposed the sun, an important symbol for Ireland’s nature worshipers, on the cross. This is how the Celtic cross came to be; it is a sun laid over a cross.
St. Patrick spent the remainder of his life ministering to people in Ireland. He died on March 17, probably in 460, although the year is not certain.