ST. PATRICK'S DAY honors the patron saint of Ireland.
PATRICK OF IRELAND'S LIFE
Patrick was born in Britain. His father was a wealthy alderman and a Christian. Pirates captured Patrick at the age of 16, during a raid and sold him as a slave in Ireland. During this time, Patrick dedicated himself to religion. He was a slave for 6 years, and then escaped back to his home of Britain.
Patrick's experiences in Ireland made him driven by the idea of converting the Irish to Christianity. He studied in the monastery of Lerins, on an island off the southeast coast of France. Patrick also went to Auxerre, France, and studied religion under Saint Germanus, a French bishop. His religious superiors were reluctant to let him return to Ireland as a missionary, because of his inadequate education. But Palladius, the first Irish missionary bishop, died in 431. Pope Celestine I then sent Patrick to Ireland.
No one had ever preached Christianity in northern and western Ireland,so this is where Patrick began his work. He gained the trust and friendship of several tribal leaders and soon made many converts. Patrick founded more than 300 churches and baptized more than 120,000 people. He brought in clergymen for his new churches from England and France. Patrick preached in Ireland the rest of his life. Patrick was chiefly responsible for converting the Irish people to Christianity. He became known as the Apostle to the Irish. His name in Latin is Patricius.
Patrick wrote CONFESSION in his later years, an account of his spiritual development, to justify his mission to Ireland. This, along with his other writings, are the most important sources of information about his life and work.
The Confession of St. Patrick
From Christian Classics Ethereal Library
His writings serve as the most important sources of information about Patrick's life and work. During his later years, he wrote Confession, an account of his spiritual development. Patrick wrote this book to justify his mission to Ireland.
Many stories about Patrick are based only on legend. One of the best-known tales tells how he charmed the snakes of Ireland into the sea so they were drowned. According to another legend, Patrick used a three-leaf shamrock to illustrate the idea of the Trinity. Many people believe the shamrock came to be the traditional symbol of Ireland as a result of this legend. Today, Irish Catholics throughout the world celebrate Saint Patrick's Day on his feast day, March 17.
Courtesy of http://www.entourages.com/barbs/stpatrick.htm