Many myths and legends surround the patron saint of Ireland, St. Patrick. So much about St. Patrick is based on legend, that we cannot even be sure when, and where, he is born. We do know that Patrick is born somewhere in Britain, probably near the end of the fourth century.
As a young boy, likely living in Britain with wealthy parents, Patrick is not yet known by the name which has made him famous for thousands of years. Before he becomes Patricius (meaning “Father of the Citizens), which later evolves into Patrick, the boy goes by his birth name – Maewyn Succat.
Patrick is kidnapped at the age of 16 by a group of Irish raiders. During his captivity, Patrick has plenty of time to think – and pray. As he himself tells us, during these years of isolation from his family, he finds God. Patrick spends 6 years as a slave and is forced to work as a shepherd.
Patrick has a dream – one of several which change his life. This time, he senses a voice telling him to leave his captors. After he escapes his life as a slave-shepherd, Patrick tries to return back to his home country of Britain. Back at home, Patrick has a dream of returning to Ireland and responds to that vision by becoming an apostle to the Irish people. Patrick’s approach to life is simple – believe in God and do His will – and he shares this message with the people of Ireland.
As a priest, he wanted to preach the gospel to as many people as possible. Although he never was canonised as a saint by the Catholic Church, Patrick would have taken delight in being adopted as the patron saint of Ireland by the Irish people themselves.
Did St. Patrick rid Ireland of snakes? Did Patrick use shamrocks to teach people about the Trinity? Who cares, it’s a good craic!
6 Nations Rugby
England 15 Ireland 24
Ireland won the tournament. And the Grand Slam!