Saint Patrick was born in 387 AD, and died March 17, 461.
At the age of 16, Patrick was captured by Naill of the Nine Hostages and was taken to Ireland where he was sold as a slave. His job was to be a shepard. While watching his flock of sheep, he turned to religion for solace, becoming a devout Christian. After six years, Patrick received a divine message commanding him to return to his family.
One night, a dream told him to leave and head south where a ship would be waiting for him. He walked 200 miles and boarded a ship to England. Upon arrival, he was captured and returned to slavery, but managed to escape after two months. He traveled Europe for the next seven years seeking out his destiny and expanding his education. He studied Christianity in France before returning to England as a priest. There, another dream told him to return to Ireland. Patrick became a Bishop in 432 and returned to Ireland to begin conversion.
Patrick lit a large fire to mark the beginning of Spring, Fires were forbidden until the King’s fire was complete. The King rushed out intending a war on those who defied his rule. However, Patrick impressed the King with his intention to spread the Gospel.
To convince the King of his religion, Patrick referred to a shamrock, explaining that there was only one stem, but three branches representing the Blessed Trinity. The King was impressed and granted him permission to spread the word, although he himself did not convert. At the time, the people of Ireland were Pagans influenced by the Druids. Patrick drove paganism from the lands of Eirann. This is symbolized by the banishing of all snakes forever from Ireland.
As a missionary, Patrick founded 100’s of churches which he visited and watched over until his death. Majority of what is known about St. Patrick comes from his two works, the Confession, and Epistola.
Saint Patrick, the Patron Saint of Ireland, died on March 17th , 461, at the age of 76. His remains are believed to be buried on Cathedral Hill in Downpatrick, County Down, North Ireland.