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The History of St. Patrick

Most people know St. Patrick’s Day as a day to drink Guinness, wear green, and celebrate all things Irish. But few know the true story of the patron saint of Ireland.

St. Patrick was born Maewyn Succat around 385 in Kilpatrick, Scotland. At the age of 14 he was captured during a raid of his hometown and taken to Ireland to work as a slave, herding sheep. At the time he was captured Ireland was inhabited predominantly by Druids and pagans. Maewyn learned the language of the Irish and their lifestyle.

During Maewyn’s servitude in Ireland he never forgot about God and prayed to him every single day. It is said that he would sometimes pray over 100 times a day.

Six years after he had been captured, God came to Maewyn in a dream and told him to leave Ireland by going to the coast. Maewyn did as God instructed and boarded a ship back to Britain where he was reunited with his family.

Once home, Maewyn had another dream in which the people of Ireland were asking him to come back and teach them about God. So Maewyn began studying to become a priest and was ordained by St. Germanus.

By the time he was ordained bishop, Maewyn had taken the name Patrick, and was sent to Ireland to bring the word of God to the Irish people.

Patrick preached for 40 years and converted all of Ireland. He worked many miracles and wrote of his love for God in “Confessions.” After years of living in poverty, traveling, and enduring much suffering he died March 17, 461.

Patrick died at Saul, where he had built the first church.