The Apostle of Ireland

Saint Patrick was born in Scotland in the year 387.  His parents were Roman citizens living in Britain, which is where Saint Patrick lived until he was sixteen and a group of pirates took him away to Ireland where he was enslaved and made to work as a shepherd.  During his time there Patrick devoted himself to prayer and learning about the Christian faith.  In one of his letters he writes, “The love of God and his fear grew in me more and more, as did the faith, and my soul was rosed, 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 six years Patrick escaped and returned to Britain, studying Christianity and being ordained priest by Saint Germanus of Auxerre.  Prompted by a divine vision, he returned to Ireland to educate the people there, who were primarily pagans and Druids, about the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  For many years he worked and traveled, ministering, preaching, baptizing, building churches and ordaining other priests, suffering many trials and laboring tirelessly both for the Lord Jesus and for the Irish people.  He died on March 17, 461, at Saul in Ireland, the place where he built his first church.  Saint Patrick liked to use a shamrock to teach people about the Holy Trinity, the clover’s three leaves representing the three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, united forever as one.

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