Saint Patrick was born of Roman nobility in the Fourth Century. Saint
Patrick's mother was the sister of Saint Martin, Archbishop of Tours in
lived a carefree life until he was a teenager when, in a raid by pirates,
Saint Patrick was abducted, brought to Ireland, and sold into
slavery. After six years of enslavement, while tending livestock on
an Irish mountainside, Saint Patrick was visited by his guardian
angel, Victoricus, who told Saint Patrick to escape to the sea, 200 miles
away, where a ship was waiting to bring him to France.
Patrick was back home, Victoricus visited Saint Patrick
again and told Saint Patrick that God had called him to the
conversion of the Irish people. Saint Patrick's family did not want
him to return to Ireland; and after praying for guidance, Victoricus for a
third time appeared to Saint Patrick and advised him to begin formal
training for his life's work. Saint Patrick subsequently enrolled in
four years of study at Marmoutier, the monastery his uncle,
Saint Martin, had founded.
When Saint Patrick's studies at
Marmoutier were completed, Saint Patrick
traveled to the island of Lerins, in the Mediterranean, to be with a
contemplative colony of monks. He then spent the last 14 years of
his preparation under the guidance of Saint Germanus, Bishop of Auxerre,
in a period of travel and activity during which Saint Patrick was ordained
In AD 431 Pope Saint Celestine
consecrated Saint Patrick as bishop and approved Saint Patrick
as missionary to Ireland.
On Saint Patrick's trip back to Ireland,
Saint Patrick stopped at an island
where Our Lord appeared to him and gave him the staff which Our Lord had
used to walk the hills of the Palestinian countryside.
Saint Patrick worked many miracles through the Staff of Jesus.
arrived in Ireland near Wicklow on the southeast coast but was driven away
because word of his mission to convert the pagans had preceded him.
Saint Patrick tried to dock at several more towns but without
In Saul, Ulster County, the chieftain
immediately set his dog upon Saint Patrick,
but the dog became stiff and mute. The chieftain then drew his
sword, but became paralyzed. Now convinced of Saint Patrick's
mission, the chieftain was converted and gave Saint Patrick the site
on which was build the first Catholic church in Ireland and where
Saint Patrick's miracles had occurred.
Saint Patrick's many years of converting
the Irish had begun, during which time he was poisoned, mobbed, enslaved
and attacked by soldiers. He was saved by a prayer he recited known
as The Deer's Prayer.
had a devotion to the Holy Cross and a love of Our Blessed Lady.
Every day Saint Patrick recited each of the 150 Psalms of David and
the Apocalypse as well as other hymns and made the Sign of the
Cross 100 times in the morning and 100 times at night.
consecrated 350 bishops and ordained 5000 priests and witnessed the
religious vows of countless monks and nuns.
died March 17, A. D. 461 in Saul, County of Down, Ireland.
Saint Patrick's Confession is a gripping
autobiographical insight into his life. Saint Patrick's humility and his
constant battle with daily survival in the face of starvation, repeated
enslavement, learning a new language, treachery and betrayal by pagans and
kings, is a testament to the indomitable human spirit.