History Buff

St. Patrick’s Day

Written by Roberto Barron

March 17th is St. Patrick’s Day, yet St. Patrick was never canonized by any of the over two hundred Popes. This means in the eyes of the Church he isn’t a saint, but rather the word “Saint” is just a part of his title. St. Patrick’s story starts with the place he was born, Britannia (modern day Dumbarton, Scotland). At age sixteen St. Patrick’s home town was raided by Irish pirates who kidnapped him and brought him back to Ireland. When brought to Ireland, St. Patrick was enslaved and made a shepherd. While enslaved, St. Patrick turned to God and prayed constantly for the possibility of being freed so he could go back home. During this time St. Patrick wrote “The Confession” where he states his beliefs for his enslavement. St. Patrick believed the reason for his enslavement was due to him turning away from God and his deacon father’s preaching. One night St. Patrick had a dream like no other he had experienced before; this dream told him how to escape. He was told to board a ship that was leaving port and heading for his home, and so he did. After six long years of enslavement St. Patrick was finally free at last. He had been longing for his home for so long, and now he finally had the opportunity to return. Not too long after finally returning home, St. Patrick had another dream, which told him to join the priesthood, become a missionary, and return back to Ireland. St. Germanus of Auxerre ordained St. Patrick and sent him on his mission to Ireland to help spread Christianity, contrary to belief he was not the first. He may have been the most successful, but he was not the first. After his arrival he soon established Ireland’s first Church and started converting pagans to Christianity. St. Patrick used a shamrock as an example to help explain the Holy Trinity to those new to the faith.

About the author

Roberto Barron