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H E A L Y
The Patron Saint
- Story - The Life of Saint Patrick -
Note: The information below is for interesting reading.
The Life of Saint Patrick
The Patron Saint of Ireland was born into either
a Scottish or English family in the fourth century. He was captured as a
teenager by Niall of the Nine Hostages who was to become a King
of all Ireland.
The Information about Ireland Site.
He was sold into slavery in Ireland and put to
work as a shepherd. He worked in terrible conditions for six years
drawing comfort in the Christian faith that so many of his people had
abandoned under Roman rule.
Patrick had a dream that encouraged
him to flee his captivity and to head South where a ship was to be
waiting for him. He traveled over 200 miles from his Northern captivity
to Wexford town where, sure enough, a ship was waiting to enable his
Upon arrival in England he was captured by brigands and
returned to slavery. He escaped after two months and spent the next
seven years traveling Europe seeking his destiny.
time he furthered his education and studied Christianity in the Lerin
Monastery in France. He returned to England as a priest. Again a dream
greatly influenced him when he became convinced that the Irish people
were calling out to him to return to the land of his servitude.
He went to the Monastery in Auxerre where it was decided that a
mission should be sent to Ireland. Patrick was not selected for this
task to his great disappointment. The monk that was selected was called
Paladius, but he died before he could reach Ireland and a second mission
was decided upon.
Patrick was made a Bishop by Pope Celestine in
the year 432 and, together with a small band of followers, traveled to
Ireland to commence the conversion.
Patrick confronted the most
powerful man in Ireland Laoghaire, The High King of Tara as he
knew that if he could gain his support that he would be safe to spread
the word throughout Ireland. To get his attention Patrick and his
followers lit a huge fire to mark the commencement of Spring. Tradition
had it that no fire was to be lit until the Kings fire was complete, but
Patrick defied this rule and courted the confrontation with the King.
The King rushed into action and traveled with the intention of
making war on the holy delegation. Patrick calmed the King and with
quiet composure impressed the King that he had no other intention than
that of spreading the word of the Gospel. The King accepted the
missionary, much to the dismay of the Druids who feared for their own
power and position in the face of this new threat. They commanded that
he make snow fall. Patrick declined to do so stating that this was Gods
work. Immediately it began to snow, only stopping when Patrick blessed
Still trying to convince the King of his religion
Patrick grasped at some Shamrock growing on the ground. He explained
that there was but one stem on the plant, but three branches of the
leaf, representing the Blessed Trinity. The King was impressed with his
sincerity and granted him permission to spread the word of his faith,
although he did not convert to Christianity himself.
his followers were free to spread their faith throughout Ireland and did
so to great effect. He drove paganism (symbolized by the snake) from the
lands of Eireann.
Patrick was tempted by the Devil whilst on a
pilgrimage at Croagh Patrick. For his refusal to be tempted, God
rewarded him with a wish. Patrick asked that the Irish be spared the
horror of Judgment Day and that he himself be allowed to judge his
flock. Thus, the legend that Ireland will disappear under a sea of water
seven years before the final judgment, was born.
on March 17th in the year 461 at the age of 76. It is not known for sure
where his remains were laid although Down Patrick in County Down in the
North of Ireland is thought to be his final resting place.
influence is still felt to this day as Nations the world over
commemorate him on March 17th of every year.